Curiosity Rover stories

 
Like everything they build, engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) designed Curiosity's Sky Crane landing system to work. But nothing is guaranteed in spaceflight. The team wouldn't know for sure whether the mission's entry, descent, and landing (or EDL) was successful until they got confirmation from the rover. The problem was that Curiosity's landing site in Gale Crater would be out of range at touchdown, so the team brought in a communications relay: the Mars Odyssey orbiter. It was a simple and obvious solution, except that Odyssey experienced its first ever malfunctions weeks before Curiosity's landing.
 
The race is on. After sending back a few grainy landscape photos, it's time for Curiosity to deliver Mars's close-ups. NASA's received new high-resolution photos taken from the rover's 34 and 100-millimeter Mast cams and as predicted, Mars's surface has a diverse range of geological layering that could help scientists learn if the planet harbors any form of life or not.
 
Engineers and staff from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, including plenty of the folks responsible for landing the Curiosity rover safely on Mars, took to Reddit to answer any and all questions about the Mars Science Laboratory mission. Well, they tried to answer — the session exploded and right now has over 7,000 comments. Here, we've collected 10 questions and answers we felt stand out from the bunch. The questions from Redditors and answers from the team at JPL are presented unedited.

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