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Mars Science Laboratory

Surface Operations Configuration

This artist's sketch shows a six-wheeled vehicle attached by arms to a large rectangular body. On the front is a tall mast with the Mast Camera and Chemistry & Camera instruments at the top. Just beneath those is the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station, also attached to the mast. Folded up for storage beneath the mast, at the front of the rover, is a robotic arm that carries the Radiation Assessment Detector, Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer, Mars Hand Lens Imager, Sample Acquisition/Sample Processing and Handling device, and Mars Descent Imager. On top of the rover deck, toward the back, sits a dish-shaped High-Gain Antenna, pointed skyward. On the back right corner of the deck is a narrow, vertical, rectangular Ultra-High Frequency antenna. Carried inside the rover's main body, toward the front, is the box that holds the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite and the Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin). All of these instruments are labeled in the image.
Current Rover Configuration
Larger Image

The Mars Science Laboratory rover acts as a robot geologist while on the surface of Mars.

It was designed to last for one martian year (about 687 Earth days).

Major components include: