Caltech geologist John Grotzinger, who was recently named chair of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, has stepped down as project scientist for NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity. He is succeeded by Ashwin Vasavada (PhD '98) of JPL.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, a rover known as Curiosity, is scheduled to land on the surface of the Red Planet on Sunday, August 5. Mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory expects to receive confirmation of the rover's landing around 10:31 p.m. PDT. NASA TV will stream the event online.
This Sunday, the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft will finally land on Mars. In anticipation of this upcoming milestone, here are some of the best images of MSL's journey from JPL to Cape Canaveral and onward to the Red Planet.
After years of planning and months of travel, the journey of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will culminate with a challenging entry, descent, and landing event on August 5that will take just a few minutes to complete. But for those in mission control, those final moments—from the time of the spacecraft's entry into the Martian atmosphere to the Curiosity rover's final landing on the Red Planet—will undoubtedly feel like a lifetime.
Since launching in November 2011, the Mars Science Laboratory has been traveling on a journey that will traverse over 350 million miles, ending on the Red Planet at 10:31 p.m. on Sunday, August 5. Here are some facts about the Curiosity rover and the mission.
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)—the most capable robotic mission ever sent to the Red Planet—is quickly approaching its destination. A feature-length story about this Mission to Mars appears in the Summer issue of E&S magazine.
Upon landing onMars at around 10:31 p.m. PDT on August 5, the Curiosity rover will be much closer than originally planned to the primary science target—a layered mountain called Mount Sharp in honor of the late Caltech geologist Robert Sharp (BS '34, MS '35).
With the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) well on its way to Mars, the newest members of its science team have been announced. Two Caltech professors—Kenneth Farley and Bethany Ehlmann—are among 18 researchers who have been selected as funded participating scientists on the mission.