Mars Science Laboratory rover, artwork

Mars Science Laboratory rover, artwork

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Credit: JPL-CALTECH/NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover on the surface of Mars, artwork. This rover, in development by NASA for launch in 2009, has six wheels to allow it to cope with rough terrain. The arm at left will collect samples, and the 2.1-metre-high mast rising above the rover carries cameras to photograph the landscape. The rover will also carry a laser to vaporise samples and a spectrograph to analyse the light emitted from the samples, to identify their chemical composition. Currently (2006), there are two Mars Exploration Rovers on the surface of Mars: Spirit and Opportunity.

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