One of the first views from NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars the evening of August 5.
After receiving news that the Curiosity successfully landed on Mars, people celebrate at NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
People watch in New York's Time Square as it's announced that the Mars science rover Curiosity successfully landed.
The Curiosity rover is safely tucked inside a spacecraft's aeroshell. The mission's approach phase begins 45 minutes before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere. This illustration depicts a scene after the spacecraft's cruise stage has been jettisoned, which will occur 10 minutes before atmospheric entry.
This artist's concept shows the sky crane maneuver during the descent of NASA's Curiosity rover to the Martian surface. In the depicted scene, the spacecraft's descent stage, while controlling its own rate of descent with four of its eight throttle-controllable rocket engines, has begun lowering Curiosity on a bridle.
This artist's concept depicts the moment that NASA's Curiosity rover touches down onto the Martian surface. The sheer size of the Mars Science Laboratory rover (over 900kg) would preclude it from taking advantage of an airbag-assisted landing. Instead, the Mars Science Laboratory will use the sky crane touchdown system, which will be capable of delivering a much larger rover onto the surface. It will place the rover on its wheels, ready to begin its mission after thorough post-landing checkouts.
In this picture, the rover examines a rock on Mars with a set of tools at the end of the rover's arm, which extends about two metres. Two instruments on the arm can study rocks up close. A drill can collect sample material from inside of rocks and a scoop can pick up samples of soil. The arm can sieve the samples and deliver fine powder to instruments inside the rover for thorough analysis.
This artist's concept depicts the rover Curiosity, of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, as it uses its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument to investigate the composition of a rock surface. ChemCam fires laser pulses at a target and views the resulting spark with a telescope and spectrometers to identify chemical elements. The laser is actually in an invisible infrared wavelength, but is shown here as visible red light for purposes of illustration. The rover is set to land on Mars in the late evening August 5, 2012.
This undated image made available by NASA shows Mars' Gale Crater, looking south. The formation is 154km in diameter and holds a layered mountain rising about five kilometeres above the crater floor, and is the planned landing site for Curiosity.
Engineers monitor the progress of the Mars Curiosity mission at the Space Operations Center and Mission Control Area in NASA's Mars Science Laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. More than 1,400 scientists, engineers and guests are expected to tensely pack the JPL as landing time approaches on Monday morning.
Curiosity is the latest in an evolving range of rovers designed by NASA. This photograph shows three generations of rovers in the Mars Test Yard at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Front and left is the flight spare for the first Mars rover, Sojourner, which landed on Mars in 1997 as part of the Mars Pathfinder Project. The Mars Exploration Rover Project test rover, left, is a working sibling to Spirit and Opportunity, which landed on Mars in 2004. Finally there is a test version of Curiosity itself, right.
Curiosity underwent a barrage of tests and a rigorous prototyping process while still on Earth.
Adam Steltzner, entry, descent and landing phase lead, at the Mars Science Laboratory demonstrates how the Curiousity rover will descend on cables from a sky crane, during a news conference.