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 Planetary Science: Projects
MSL - Mars Science Laboratory Icon

MSL - Mars Science Laboratory

The Curiosity rover landed at Gale Crater on August 5, 2012. It is designed to search for and assess past or present habitable environments, i.e., those capable of supporting microbial life. In other words, its mission is to determine the planet's "habitability." The Mars Science Laboratory mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet.

Curiosity carries the biggest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the martian surface. The rover has the capability to analyze dozens of samples scooped from the soil, drilled from rocks, or ingested from the atmosphere. The record of the planet's climate and geology is essentially "written in the rocks and soil" in their formation, structure, and chemical composition, including the chemical building blocks of life (e.g., forms of carbon). Mount Sharp within Gale Crater is thought to contain a sedimentary rock record that has captured major events in the environmental history of Mars.

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Abigail  Fraeman
Abigail Fraeman
Planetary Chemistry and Astrobiology (3225)
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Sylvain  Piqueux
Sylvain Piqueux
Planetary And Exoplanetary Atmospheres (3222)
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Kathryn  Stack Morgan
Kathryn Stack Morgan
Geophysics & Planetary Geosciences (3223)
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Luther  Beegle
Luther Beegle
Deputy Division Manager
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Eric  De Jong
Eric De Jong
Geophysics & Planetary Geosciences (3223)
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Michael A. Mischna
Michael A. Mischna
Planetary And Exoplanetary Atmospheres (3222)
Group Supervisor
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Joy  Crisp
Joy Crisp
Planetary Science
MSL Deputy Project Scientist
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Ashwin R. Vasavada
Ashwin R. Vasavada
Geophysics & Planetary Geosciences (3223)
MSL Project Scientist
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Robert C. Anderson
Robert C. Anderson
Geophysics & Planetary Geosciences (3223)
Group Supervisor
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Diana  Blaney
Diana Blaney
Asteroids, Comets & Satellites (3224)
MER Deputy Project Scientist
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Manuel  de la Torre Juarez
Manuel de la Torre Juarez
Planetary And Exoplanetary Atmospheres (3222)
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David  Kass
David Kass
Planetary And Exoplanetary Atmospheres (3222)
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Timothy  Parker
Timothy Parker
Geophysics & Planetary Geosciences (3223)
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Chris  Webster
Chris Webster
Directorate Science Affiliates
Director, Microdevices Lab (MDL)
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