Mars Science Laboratory heat shield

Mars Science Laboratory heat shield

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mars Science Laboratory heat shield. Testing of the heat shield that will be used to protect the Mars Science Laboratory rover as it descends through the Martian atmosphere. This rover, in development by NASA for launch in 2011, will have six wheels to allow it to cope with rough terrain. A robotic arm will collect samples, and a 2.1-metre-high mast rising above the rover will carry a camera to photograph the landscape. The rover will also have an instrument that uses a laser to analyse the chemical composition of samples on the surface. Photographed in 2009, at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, USA.

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