Arriving at Mars in 2012, Curiosity will serve as an entrée to the next decade of Mars exploration.
A lot of people wonder why Curiosity doesn’t have solar panels like the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The Mars Exploration Rovers often found themselves short on power as dust settled on their solar panels. This was especially a problem in the short days of winter.
The Mars Science Laboratory team needed to find a good, strong and reliable source of power to keep Curiosity going for over two years on Mars. Watch the video to find out how Curiosity will be powered on Mars…
Read more about Curiosity and how space exploration is taking a bold step in the December 2011 issue of Popular Mechanics – on sale on 21 November.
Watch a video showing the major mission events of the Curiosity rover’s landing on Mars.