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On the Surface

On the Surface

Author: Nathan Lampson

After studying this concept, learners will be able to identify the types of data that can be collected by the science instruments on board the Curiosity rover.

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Stats of the Curiosity Rover

The Curiosity Rover is 10 feet long and 7 feet tall.

The weight of the rover is approximately 2,000 pounds

The wheels of the rover use a rocker-bogie suspension system that allows the rover to travel difficult terrain.

The Tools of the Curiosity Rover

As the most technically capable rover ever built, Curiosity is sporting an arsenal of equipment.  The arm of the rover can scoop up samples and place them in a variety of places on the rover for processing.

Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD)

Used to monitor surface radiation levels

Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (ChemCam)

Using a laser, the ChemCam can vaporize rock 30 feet away in order to analyze its components.

Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer

​Used to determine the elemental components of Martian soil and rocks.

Gas Chromatograph

Used to separate and analyze gas samples.

Rover Environmental Monitoring Station

Records wind, ultraviolet radiation, temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure.

Navigation Cameras

Cameras on the rover are able to take 3D stereo images that allow people on Earth to steer Curiosity.