Friday, 22 Oct, 2010 Technology

Curiosity Cam Allows Viewing the Construction of NASA's Mars Rover


A webcam installed at NASA allows everyone to observe technicians working on the next NASA Mars rover. It is worth mentioning that the rover is part of one of the most technologically advanced interplanetary missions ever.

The Curiosity rover, as it is called, is located in the clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Everything performed in the clean room can be seen by viewers with the help of a webcam called "Curiosity Cam". It offers a video feed but without audio.

From time to time the image will also be complemented by live Web chats in which the Curiosity team members will take part. They will attempt to answer questions regarding the new rover.

Starting today viewers have the possibility to see how engineers add the suspension system and six wheels to the rover and on Monday, the Curiosity cam will show how NASA technicians will lift and attach a 7-foot-long robotic arm to the Curiosity rover.

The live video feed is available here.

Sometimes the clean room may be empty. This is because some of work is moved to another facility, such as testing rooms. The Curiosity cam can also be turned off for maintenance or due to some technical difficulties.

The rover is expected to be finished in a few months. After that it will be launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The launch is expected to take place between Nov. 25 and Dec. 18, 2011. The rover will arrive to the Red planet in August 2012. The goal is to figure out whether the landing area has ever had the necessary environments the development of microbial life. Curiosity is expected to provide evidence on whether Mars was previously the home of extraterrestrial life.

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