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NASA’s Langley Research Center: Contributions to the Curiosity Rover Mission Part 1

Wed, 08/08/2012 - 3:53pm -- WCVE

The recent success of NASA’s Mars Scientific Laboratory mission to deliver the Curiosity rover safely to Mars was due in part to the research conducted at Hampton, Virginia’s NASA Langley Research Center, which goes back decades.

The NASA Langley Research Center has been involved in the historic Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover mission with contributions including:

  • More than 10 million modeling and simulations of the entry, descent and landing (EDL) of the MSL/Curiosity–from the top of Mars’ atmosphere until the rover landed on the surface.
  • The development of 14 sensors, Called the “MSLEDL Instrumentation,” or “MEDLI,” that were embedded in the spacecraft’s heat shield and took real-time pressure and temperature data throughout the EDL.
  • Two NASA Langley researchers developed a mini-computer on the Curiosity rover that will command the firing of a laser to blast apart rocks for study and to send the data back to Earth.

WCVE Public Radio’s Charles Fishburne has more in this Science Matters special report.

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