NASA´s Mars rover Curiosity is set to touch down in the Gale Crater area of Mars on 13:31, August 6(BJT). The two-year mission will study whether the Red Planet has evidence of past and present habitable environments.
Curiosity is a lander of the Mars Science Laboratory mission. Size: It weighs almost a ton, and is the size of a Mini Cooper.
Powered by nuclear fuel, it carries more sophisticated detection equipment than ever before. Curiosity will use 10 science instruments to examine rocks, soil and atmosphere.
Cost: 2.5 billion U.S. dollars
Purpose: The mission will study whether the Red Planet has evidence of past and present habitable environments.
The Mars Express arrived successfully on December 25, 2003.However, ground controllers have been unable to communicate with the probe.
Japan´s Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) launched this probe on July 4, 1998 to study the Martian environment.
Mars 4 arrived at Mars on February, 1974, but failed to go into orbit due to a malfunction of its breaking engine. It flew past the planet within 2,200 kilometers of the surface. It returned some images and data.
This mission provided the first close-up images of the red planet. It returned 22 close-up photos showing a cratered surface.