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Media and Public Invited to View Curiosity Landing’s First Anniversary Broadcast
August 1, 2013


Media and the public are invited to watch a live NASA TV broadcast from NASA Headquarters in Washington, commemorating the first anniversary of Curiosity rover's landing on Mars. The broadcast, "Curiosity's First Year on Mars: The Path to Future Robotic and Human Exploration," will air from 9 to 10 a.m. PDT Tuesday, Aug. 6 in the Exploration Visitor Center at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

From 10 to 10:30 a.m., major contributors to the Mars Science Laboratory from Ames will talk about the center’s contributions and share their insights into what has been learned from the mission so far.

Highlights of Ames contributions include:

-   CheMin: Ames is the lead for the Chemical and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument that is identifying and quantifying the minerals in Martian rocks and soils.

-   Arc Jet testing: The MSL heat shield was tested at Ames’ Arc Jet Complex, which reproduces heating and pressure conditions similar to those experienced by spacecraft during atmospheric entry.

-   Parachute testing: Wind tunnel 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.

-   PICA: Researchers invented the unique thermal protection system consisting of tiles made of Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA) that the MSL spacecraft used to safely reach the surface of the Red Planet.

-   MEDLI: The Mars Science Laboratory Entry, Descent and Landing Instrument (MEDLI) contained multiple sophisticated temperature sensors that measured atmospheric conditions and performance of the capsule's heat shield.

-   MSLICE: Engineers developed the Mars Science InterfaCE (MSLICE) software tool in collaboration with engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to plan the actions of the Mars rover and maximize scientific research

Other science instruments on Curiosity supported by Ames, include:

-   ChemCam: Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) is a rock-zapping laser instrument that observes the resulting flash through a telescope to identify the chemical elements in the target.

-   SAM: The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument has three laboratory tools for analyzing gases pulled from rocks and soil samples, as well as from the Martian atmosphere.

-   REMS: The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) will provide daily weather reports from the Red Planet using a suite of meteorological instruments.

Those interested in attending should plan to arrive on time at the Visitor Center, located at the main gate to Ames near Mountain View, Calif. Take U.S. 101 and turn off at the "Moffett Blvd / NASA Parkway" exit. Capacity and seating is limited.

Media may contact Ruth Marlaire, Ames Public Affairs at ruth.marlaire@nasa.gov  for further information and to confirm attendance.

The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, UTC (evening of Aug. 5, 2012, PDT), about one mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-month primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. With much more science to come, including continued discoveries from Ames’ ChemMin instrument, Curiosity's wheels continue to blaze a trail for human footprints on Mars. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity mission for NASA.

“The landing of Curiosity was the hardest mission NASA ever attempted in the history of robotic space exploration,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters.

Follow the conversation online about Curiosity's first year on Mars using hashtag #1YearOnMars or follow @NASA and @MarsCuriosity on Twitter.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit:


For more information about NASA's exploration of Mars, visit:


For information about NASA Ames’ contributions to the mission, visit:


For more information NASA programs and activities, visit:



Ruth Dasso Marlaire

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.



Text released as Ames M13-56

The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, UTC (evening of Aug. 5, 2012, PDT), about one mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area.
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Page Last Updated: August 1st, 2013
Page Editor: Ruth Marlaire