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A visit with Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • July 11, 2011

I had an amazing opportunity back in April: an invitation to go inside the fabled Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to see the next Mars rover up close.

Summary of the fifth MSL landing site selection meeting

Ryan Anderson • July 06, 2011

Well, after three days of fascinating science and heated discussion, the fifth and final MSL landing site workshop has come to a close, and the consensus is -- that all of the sites are pretty darn interesting.

According to Nature News, Curiosity is going to Gale

Emily Lakdawalla • June 23, 2011

Nature News is reporting that the Mars Science Laboratory mission has made its recommendation for the landing site for the next great Mars rover, and it's Gale crater.

How to Wrap a Mars Rover, redux

Emily Lakdawalla • June 21, 2011

All right, I'll admit it: JPL's video is way, way cooler than mine. Four days of packing Curiosity up for shipping, condensed into under a minute.

How to Wrap a Mars Rover

Emily Lakdawalla • June 17, 2011

It's not easy to wrap a ginormous rover for shipping. 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.

Europa on the Ropes

James Wray • June 11, 2011

For now, Mars continues to eclipse Jupiter's moon Europa (shown here to scale) in NASA's flagship mission plans, but not in its appeal to many planetary scientists.

Two new views of Curiosity

Emily Lakdawalla • June 01, 2011

This week two cool new views of the next Mars rover appeared in the Jet Propulsion Lab's image database, the Planetary Photojournal. One was real, and one simulated; I've been waiting to see both for many months.

Zapping Rocks for Science

Ryan Anderson • May 27, 2011

Laser beams and space exploration are perfect for each other, and not just because all self-respecting starship captains know their way around a blaster. It turns out that zapping rocks with a laser is not only fun, it also can tell you what they're made of!

It's opposite day at the Curiosity landing site selection meeting

Emily Lakdawalla • May 18, 2011

I've been attending the final Mars Science Laboratory Landing Site Community Workshop meeting this week, taking copious notes for a future article in The Planetary Report, some of which I'll post here when I get a chance. But I just had to write a brief post about the totally crazy role reversal that is going on at this meeting.

Having some fun with Curiosity's pretty face (plus, a conversation about Curiosity with a 4-year-old)

Emily Lakdawalla • April 08, 2011

The photo I took of Curiosity's "face" and posted on Monday seems to have tickled a lot of people. I understand it's the subject of a "Photoshop this Mars rover" challenge at Fark, and a couple of the guys over at unmannedspaceflight.com have been having a field day with it.

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