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Mars Science Laboratory

Assembly & Testing at JPL

A group of engineers and technicians prepare to mate the rover (tucked inside its backshell and turned upside-down on the left) to its protective heatshield, the black disk on the right.

The Mars Science Laboratory's main "hub" was a cleanroom at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Various partners built and tested individual instruments at other locations. Teams needed to ensure that they delivered the best possible instrument to be mated with the body of the spacecraft. Eventually, all of the instruments traveled to Jet Propulsion Laboratory to be installed.

A very vital stage for the mission was the assembly, test and launch operations phase. Following individual testing, instruments were shipped to the cleanroom and mated with the rover and spacecraft. As everything began to take shape, the entire structure was put through rigorous environmental, electronics, software and systems testing.