Curiosity – Mars Landing Site Will Be Gale Crater

NASA announced the landing site for Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). Gale Crater, 155 kilometers in diameter, is located west of Olympus Mons (134 degrees west), just south of the equator at 137 degrees east. Longitude on Mars is referenced from Airy-0 crater.

Gale Crater Location
Gale Crater on Mars – West of Olympus Mons.
Credit: Google Mars

Curiosity is targeted to land north of a feature that looks like an alluvial fan within Gale Crater. The feature seen in the lower left portion of the crater (at left) Gale Crater was likely formed by water-carried sediments. The layers at the base of the mountain contain clays and sulfates, both known to form in water.

The mission is targeted to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida between 25 November and 18 December, and land in August of 2012. The rover contains 10 science instruments include two for ingesting and analyzing samples of powdered rock that the rover’s robotic arm collects.

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5 thoughts on “Curiosity – Mars Landing Site Will Be Gale Crater

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