Science and the MSL

Concepcion del artista del Laboratorio Cientifico de Marte con el brazo extendido

Looking for life on Mars requires a lot of special instruments. Learn about the science aboard Curiosity.

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Engineering of the MSL

Concepcion del artista de la grua espacial con el robot del Laboratorio Cientifico de Marte

The biggest, "baddest," newest Mars rover is the Mars Science Laboratory. Follow along and learn how NASA engineered this very curious rover.

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Solar System Exploration

Montaje artistico de mundos y objetos en nuestro sistema solar

Do you think we already know everything about our solar system? Think again!

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Challenges of Dealing With Atmospheres: Entry, Descent and Landing

    Whether landing on Mars or returning to Earth, one of the most challenging parts of any mission is the entry, descent and landing. Just think -- a spacecraft hurtling through space at thousands of kilometers an hour suddenly must slow its speed to nearly zero, land softly and be ready to work.
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Background Information

    The entry, descent and landing phase begins when the spacecraft reaches the Martian atmosphere, about 125 kilometers (about 78 miles) above the surface, and ends with the rover safe and sound on the surface of Mars.

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Opportunities and Activities

  • 'Sea un marciano' logotipo que muestra una nave especial similar a un insecto con Marte al fondo

    Be a Martian  →

    NASA invites YOU to "Be a Martian" and explore the Red Planet's terrain. This is a virtual way for people to explore the Red Planet. Look through different photos of Mars that have been sent back by rovers and orbiters, discover, win points, and even earn badges. Enroll as a virtual Martian citizen and start exploring!