It's not easy to wrap a ginormous rover for shipping (it's evidently harder than wrapping a cat). I was glued to the feed from the Curiosity Cam all day yesterday, as they prepared Curiosity for shipping to Kennedy Space Center. Here's a low-budget time-lapse of the rover being wrapped in Amerstat, held together with Kapton tape, and put in the bottom half of her shipping container.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / animation by Emily Lakdawalla
How to Wrap a Mars Rover
On June 16, 2011, visitors to the Curiosity Cam had their last-ever glimpse of the rover while on Earth. Bunny-suited engineers placed her (already turned upside down, in her launch configuration, with wheels tucked up tight against her body) on a mount and wrapped her in a silver biocidal foil called Amerstat, holding the wrapped present together with orange Kapton tape. Then they placed her in the bottom half of her shipping container, in which she will be flown to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for her launch on an Atlas V in November.
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