[meteorite-list] NASA Mars Rover Arrives In Florida After Cross-Country Flight (MSL)

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2011 09:21:27 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201106231621.p5NGLR3t023755_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

June 23, 2011

Dwayne Brown
Headquarters, Washington
dwayne.c.brown at nasa.gov

George Diller
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
george.h.diller at nasa.gov

Guy Webster
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster at jpl.nasa.gov

RELEASE: 11-201


KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- NASA's next Mars rover has completed the
journey from its California birthplace to Florida in preparation for
launch this fall.

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, also known as Curiosity,
arrived Wednesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center aboard an Air Force
C-17 transport plane. It was accompanied by the rocket-powered
descent stage that will fly the rover during the final moments before
landing on Mars. The C-17 flight began at March Air Reserve Base in
Riverside, Calif., where the boxed hardware had been trucked from
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.

The rover's aeroshell -- the protective covering for the trip to the
Red Planet -- and the cruise stage, which will guide it to Mars,
arrived at Kennedy last month. The mission is targeted to launch from
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station between Nov. 25 and Dec. 18. The
car-size rover will land on Mars in August 2012.

"The design and building part of the mission is nearly behind us now,"
said JPL's David Gruel, who has managed Mars Science Laboratory
assembly, test and launch operations since 2007. "We're getting to
final checkouts before sending the rover on its way to Mars."

The rover and other spacecraft components will undergo more testing
before mission staff stack them and fuel the onboard propulsion
systems. Curiosity should be enclosed in its aeroshell for the final
time in September and delivered to Kennedy's Launch Complex 41 in
early November for integration with a United Launch Alliance Atlas V

Curiosity is about twice as long and more than five times as heavy as
any previous Mars rover. Its 10 science instruments include two for
ingesting and analyzing samples of powdered rock delivered by the
rover's robotic arm. During a prime mission lasting one Martian year
-- nearly two Earth years -- researchers will use the rover's tools
to study whether the landing region has had environmental conditions
favorable for supporting microbial life and favorable for preserving
clues about whether life existed.

JPL built the rover and descent stage and manages the mission for
NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Launch management
for the mission is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services
Program at Kennedy.

For more information about the mission, visit:


To follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter, visit:




Received on Thu 23 Jun 2011 12:21:27 PM PDT

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