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Mars Rover Curiosity Landing (Registration Required)

Still curious?

The MSL Curiosity rover on the Martian surface.

Learn about Ames' contributions to Curiosity

Ames Curiosity press kit
Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012
5 p.m. - midnight (doors open at 4 p.m.)

Ames is going to Mars, and you're invited to join us!

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft with the Curiosity rover is scheduled to arrive on the Martian surface at 10:31 p.m. PDT on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. Curiosity will search for evidence that Mars had environments and chemical ingredients favorable for microbial life. Register for your tickets now!

Event Schedule (all times PDT):

4 p.m.: Doors open -
Grab a snack at one of the gourmet food trucks.

5 - 8 p.m.: Ames Expo - Come see booths and demonstrations of Ames' Curiosity connections, listed below.

7:30 - 9 p.m.: The Ames Curiosity Story' - Several scientists, including renowned Mars expert Chris McKay, will share their stories about Mars and why we are so curious about it!

9 p.m. - midnight: Live broadcast - We will tune in to the control room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to find out what's happening as the Curiosity mission unfolds.


Ames is playing a vital role in Curiosity’s mission. Come talk to the scientists and engineers who are helping make this exciting mission possible, and learn about Ames’ contributions:

• Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument (CheMin): Ames scientists developed this instrument to identify and quantify the minerals in Martian rocks and soils.
• Mars Science Laboratory InterfaCE (MSLICE): Ames engineers developed a software tool in collaboration with engineers at JPL, to plan the science activities of the Mars rover and maximize scientific research.
• Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA): Ames researchers invented the unique thermal protection system consisting of tiles made of phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (PICA) that the MSL spacecraft will use to safely reach the surface of the Red Planet; Ames’ engineers tested PICA in Ames’ unique Arc Jet facility.
• Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent, and Landing Instrument (MEDLI): Engineers from Ames and NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., collaborated to design and build sophisticated plugs with multiple temperature sensors that measure atmospheric conditions and performance of the heat shield.
• Wind tunnel testing: Ames engineers conducted a full-scale MSL parachute deployment, small-scale verification tests and supersonic tests to study the interaction between the MSL Capsule and parachute during atmospheric entry.

• Booths also provided by Hiller Aviation Museum, Exploratorium, SETI Institute, and much more!

Save the date and we hope you join us in this historic event celebrating the Mars Rover Curiosity and the important role played in the mission by NASA Ames and Silicon Valley. Register for your tickets now!

Check out Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror video here!

Read more about the Mars Science Laboratory and the Mars Rover Curiosity.