Mars Curiosity Rover

Bonnie Stevens

Planetary scientists in Flagstaff study Mars as if they are there. And virtually, they are. Northern Arizona University’s Mars Lab immerses them into the Martian environment with the aid of 3D goggles and the latest images from the Curiosity Rover and orbiting satellites. Christopher Edwards runs the Mars Rover Operations and Analysis Laboratory where he can explore old lake beds, collapsed lava flows, shifting sand dunes and rocky ridges. 


NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS, Sept. 7, 2012, PDT

Later this year, the Mars Rover Curiosity is scheduled to begin its longest road trip yet, to Mount Sharp.  That’s a three-mile-high mountain on Mars that tells the planet’s geologic history in the same way the Grand Canyon’s exposes earth’s.  But getting Curiosity to its ultimate destination depends on maps and cameras.  That’s where Flagstaff’s office of the U.S. Geological Survey comes in.