PICRYL
PICRYLThe World's Largest Public Domain Source
  • homeHome
  • searchSearch
  • photo_albumStories
  • collectionsCollections
  • infoAbout
  • star_rateUpgrade
  • account_boxLogin

Topic: backshell

1997
1997
slider-holder
2012
slider-holder
2012
137 media by topicpage 1 of 2
Backshell Located

Backshell Located

Backshell Located NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), KSC technicians maneuver the backshell, a protective covering, to be placed over the Mars Polar Lander, sitting on the workstand. The solar-powered spacecraft, targeted for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Station aboard a Delta II rocket on Jan. 3, 1999, is designed to touch down on the Martian surface near the northern-most boundary of the south pole in order to study the water cycle there. The lander also will help scientists learn more about climate change and current resources on Mars, studying such things as frost, dust, water vapor and condensates in the Martian atmosphere KSC-98pc1611

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsula...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), KSC technicians maneuver the backshell, a protective covering, to be placed over the Mars Polar Lander, sitting on... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), a KSC technician prepares the Mars Polar Lander for encapsulation inside the backshell, a protective cover. The solar-powered spacecraft, targeted for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Station aboard a Delta II rocket on Jan. 3, 1999, is designed to touch down on the Martian surface near the northern-most boundary of the south pole in order to study the water cycle there. The lander also will help scientists learn more about climate change and current resources on Mars, studying such things as frost, dust, water vapor and condensates in the Martian atmosphere KSC-98pc1609

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsula...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), a KSC technician prepares the Mars Polar Lander for encapsulation inside the backshell, a protective cover. The so... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), KSC technicians prepare the Mars Polar Lander for encapsulation inside the backshell, a protective cover. The solar-powered spacecraft, targeted for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Station aboard a Delta II rocket on Jan. 3, 1999, is designed to touch down on the Martian surface near the northern-most boundary of the south pole in order to study the water cycle there. The lander also will help scientists learn more about climate change and current resources on Mars, studying such things as frost, dust, water vapor and condensates in the Martian atmosphere KSC-98pc1613

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsula...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), KSC technicians prepare the Mars Polar Lander for encapsulation inside the backshell, a protective cover. The sola... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), the Mars Polar Lander sits on the workstand encapsulated inside the backshell, a protective cover. The solar-powered spacecraft, targeted for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Station aboard a Delta II rocket on Jan. 3, 1999, is designed to touch down on the Martian surface near the northern-most boundary of the south pole in order to study the water cycle there. The lander also will help scientists learn more about climate change and current resources on Mars, studying such things as frost, dust, water vapor and condensates in the Martian atmosphere KSC-98pc1612

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsula...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), the Mars Polar Lander sits on the workstand encapsulated inside the backshell, a protective cover. The solar-power... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), a KSC technician looks over the Mars Polar Lander before its encapsulation inside the backshell, a protective cover. The solar-powered spacecraft, targeted for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Station aboard a Delta II rocket on Jan. 3, 1999, is designed to touch down on the Martian surface near the northern-most boundary of the south pole in order to study the water cycle there. The lander also will help scientists learn more about climate change and current resources on Mars, studying such things as frost, dust, water vapor and condensates in the Martian atmosphere KSC-98pc1610

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsula...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Spacecraft Assembly and Encapsulation Facility-2 (SAEF-2), a KSC technician looks over the Mars Polar Lander before its encapsulation inside the backshell, a protective cove... more

SENIOR AIRMAN Shawn Bryan (left), examing a Spider Harness backshell for the F-16C as SRA Bambi Boone (center) looks on. Technical Sergeant Kevin Travis (right) is checking data in the Technical Order. 169th Fighter Wing, South Carolina Air National Gurad, McEntire Air National Guard Base, South Carolina, 21 July 1999

SENIOR AIRMAN Shawn Bryan (left), examing a Spider Harness backshell f...

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Mcentire Ang Station State: South Carolina (SC) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: TSGT James R. Burnette, USAF Rele... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, both solar arrays on the Genesis spacecraft are deployed. Genesis is designed to collect samples of solar wind particles and return them to Earth so that scientists can study the exact composition of the Sun and probe the solar system’s origin. The white object on the end in front of the arrays is the Sample Return Canister backshell, inside of which are the collector arrays. Genesis is scheduled to be launched on a Delta II Lite launch vehicle from Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, July 30, at 12:36 p.m. EDT KSC-01pp1072

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facil...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, both solar arrays on the Genesis spacecraft are deployed. Genesis is designed to collect samples of solar wind particles and return the... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility check closely the solar arrays on the Genesis spacecraft. Genesis is designed to collect samples of solar wind particles and return them to Earth so that scientists can study the exact composition of the Sun and probe the solar system’s origin. The white object on the end in front of the arrays is the Sample Return Canister backshell, inside of which are the collector arrays. Genesis is scheduled to be launched on a Delta II Lite launch vehicle from Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, July 30, at 12:36 p.m. EDT KSC-01pp1073

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servici...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility check closely the solar arrays on the Genesis spacecraft. Genesis is designed to collect samples of solar wind particles and ret... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility prepare to lift and move the backshell, a protective cover for the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) and its lander.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicin...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility prepare to lift and move the backshell, a protective cover for the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) and its lander. NASA's twin ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility check the placement of the backshell over the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1).  The backshell is a protective cover for the rover.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicin...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility check the placement of the backshell over the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1). The backshell is a protective cover for the rove... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility lower the backshell over the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1).  The backshell is a protective cover for the rover.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicin...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility lower the backshell over the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1). The backshell is a protective cover for the rover. NASA's twin M... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility guide the backshell being lowered over the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1).  The backshell is a protective cover for the rover.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicin...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility guide the backshell being lowered over the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1). The backshell is a protective cover for the rover. ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -  Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility prepare to lift and move the backshell that will cover the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) and its lander.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servici...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility prepare to lift and move the backshell that will cover the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) and its lander. NASA's twin Mars Ex... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The backshell is in place over the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1).  The backshell is a protective cover for the rover.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The backshell is in place over the Mars E...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The backshell is in place over the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1). The backshell is a protective cover for the rover. NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study t... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility lower the backshell over the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1).  The backshell is a protective cover for the rover.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicin...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility lower the backshell over the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1). The backshell is a protective cover for the rover. NASA's twin M... more

The backshell for the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) is moved toward the rover (foreground, left).  The backshell is a protective cover for the rover.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The backshell for the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) is moved toward...

The backshell for the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) is moved toward the rover (foreground, left). The backshell is a protective cover for the rover. NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to stud... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, workers lower the backshell with the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) onto the heat shield.  The two components form the aeroshell that will protect the rover on its journey to Mars.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facili...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, workers lower the backshell with the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) onto the heat shield. The two components form the aeroshell that ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility check the installation of the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) inside the upper backshell.   The two components will be attached to the lower heat shield.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicin...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility check the installation of the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) inside the upper backshell. The two components will be attached ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -  An overhead crane is attached to the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) inside the upper backshell.   The backshell will be moved and attached to the lower heat shield.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane is attached to the Mar...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An overhead crane is attached to the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) inside the upper backshell. The backshell will be moved and attached to the lower heat shield. NASA's twin ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -  Workers watch as an overhead crane begins to lift the backshell with the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) inside.  The backshell will be moved and attached to the lower heat shield.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers watch as an overhead crane begin...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers watch as an overhead crane begins to lift the backshell with the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) inside. The backshell will be moved and attached to the lower heat shield... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers walk with the suspended backshell/ Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) as it travels across the floor of the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility.  The backshell will be attached to the lower heat shield.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers walk with the suspended backshell...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers walk with the suspended backshell/ Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) as it travels across the floor of the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The backshell will be attach... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -  Assembly of the backshell and heat shield surrounding the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) is complete.  The resulting aeroshell will protect the rover on its journey to Mars.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Assembly of the backshell and heat shiel...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Assembly of the backshell and heat shield surrounding the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) is complete. The resulting aeroshell will protect the rover on its journey to Mars. NAS... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, workers lower the backshell with the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) onto the heat shield.  The two components form the aeroshell that will protect the rover on its journey to Mars.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facili...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, workers lower the backshell with the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) onto the heat shield. The two components form the aeroshell that ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -  Workers attach an overhead crane to the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) inside the upper backshell.   The backshell will be moved and attached to the lower heat shield.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers attach an overhead crane to the ...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers attach an overhead crane to the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1) inside the upper backshell. The backshell will be moved and attached to the lower heat shield. NASA's tw... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, workers check the attachment between the backshell (above) and heat shield (below) surrounding the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1).  The aeroshell will protect the rover on its journey to Mars.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facili...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, workers check the attachment between the backshell (above) and heat shield (below) surrounding the Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1). Th... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the heat shield (foreground) is ready to be mated with the upper backshell/ Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1), in the background.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facili...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the heat shield (foreground) is ready to be mated with the upper backshell/ Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1), in the background. NASA's... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, workers move the heat shield (foreground) toward the upper backshell/ Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1), in the background.  The backshell and heat shield will be mated.  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facili...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, workers move the heat shield (foreground) toward the upper backshell/ Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1), in the background. The backshel... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility prepare the heat shield that will be attached to the backshell, surrounding Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1).  NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can't yet go.  MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 as MER-B aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicin...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Workers in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility prepare the heat shield that will be attached to the backshell, surrounding Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1). NASA's twin Mars E... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The aeroshell, the entry vehicle for Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1), is ready for integration with its cruise stage, seen here below the backshell.  What appears to be the top half of the aeroshell is the heat shield.  NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans can’t yet go.  The MER-1 is scheduled to launch June 25 from Launch Pad 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The aeroshell, the entry vehicle for Mars...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - The aeroshell, the entry vehicle for Mars Exploration Rover 1 (MER-1), is ready for integration with its cruise stage, seen here below the backshell. What appears to be the top hal... more

Opportunity Spies Its Backshell

Opportunity Spies Its Backshell

Opportunity Spies Its Backshell NASA/JPL/Cornell

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the Phoenix Mars Lander (foreground) can be seen inside the backshell.  In the background, workers are helping place the heat shield, just removed from the Phoenix, onto a platform. The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's first openly competed program of Mars Scout missions. Phoenix will land in icy soils near the north polar permanent ice cap of Mars and explore the history of the water in these soils and any associated rocks, while monitoring polar climate. Landing is planned in May 2008 on arctic ground where a mission currently in orbit, Mars Odyssey, has detected high concentrations of ice just beneath the top layer of soil. It will serve as NASA's first exploration of a potential modern habitat on Mars and open the door to a renewed search for carbon-bearing compounds, last attempted with NASA’s Viking missions in the 1970s. A stereo color camera and a weather station will study the surrounding environment while the other instruments check excavated soil samples for water, organic chemicals and conditions that could indicate whether the site was ever hospitable to life. Microscopes can reveal features as small as one one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Launch of Phoenix aboard a Delta II rocket is targeted for Aug. 3 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.   Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1091

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facil...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the Phoenix Mars Lander (foreground) can be seen inside the backshell. In the background, workers are helping place the heat shield, j... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the Phoenix Mars Lander (foreground) can be seen inside the backshell.  In the background, workers are helping place the heat shield, just removed from the Phoenix, onto a platform.  The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's first openly competed program of Mars Scout missions. Phoenix will land in icy soils near the north polar permanent ice cap of Mars and explore the history of the water in these soils and any associated rocks, while monitoring polar climate. Landing is planned in May 2008 on arctic ground where a mission currently in orbit, Mars Odyssey, has detected high concentrations of ice just beneath the top layer of soil. It will serve as NASA's first exploration of a potential modern habitat on Mars and open the door to a renewed search for carbon-bearing compounds, last attempted with NASA’s Viking missions in the 1970s. A stereo color camera and a weather station will study the surrounding environment while the other instruments check excavated soil samples for water, organic chemicals and conditions that could indicate whether the site was ever hospitable to life. Microscopes can reveal features as small as one one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Launch of Phoenix aboard a Delta II rocket is targeted for Aug. 3 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.   Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1090

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facil...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the Phoenix Mars Lander (foreground) can be seen inside the backshell. In the background, workers are helping place the heat shield, j... more

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

This closeup shows the Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft nestled inside the backshell. The spacecraft will undergo spin testing on the spin table to which it is attached in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- An overhead crane lifts the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside off its work stand in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility.  The spacecraft is being moved to a spin table (back left) for spin testing. The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's first openly competed program of Mars Scout missions. Phoenix will land in icy soils near the north polar permanent ice cap of Mars and explore the history of the water in these soils and any associated rocks, while monitoring polar climate. Landing is planned in May 2008 on arctic ground where a mission currently in orbit, Mars Odyssey, has detected high concentrations of ice just beneath the top layer of soil. It will serve as NASA's first exploration of a potential modern habitat on Mars and open the door to a renewed search for carbon-bearing compounds, last attempted with NASA’s Viking missions in the 1970s. A stereo color camera and a weather station will study the surrounding environment while the other instruments check excavated soil samples for water, organic chemicals and conditions that could indicate whether the site was ever hospitable to life. Microscopes can reveal features as small as one one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Launch of Phoenix aboard a Delta II rocket is targeted for Aug. 3 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.   Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1092

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- An overhead crane lifts the backshell wi...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- An overhead crane lifts the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside off its work stand in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The spacecraft is being moved to a spin t... more

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the Phoenix Mars Lander (foreground) can be seen inside the backshell. In the background, workers are helping place the heat shield, just removed from the Phoenix, o... more

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

This closeup shows the Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft nestled inside the backshell. The spacecraft is ready for spin testing on the spin table to which it is attached in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility... more

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, technicians secure the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside onto a spin table for spin testing. The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's first ope... more

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

An overhead crane lowers the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside toward a spin table for spin testing in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's fi... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Secured on the spin table, the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside is ready for spin testing in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's first openly competed program of Mars Scout missions. Phoenix will land in icy soils near the north polar permanent ice cap of Mars and explore the history of the water in these soils and any associated rocks, while monitoring polar climate. Landing is planned in May 2008 on arctic ground where a mission currently in orbit, Mars Odyssey, has detected high concentrations of ice just beneath the top layer of soil. It will serve as NASA's first exploration of a potential modern habitat on Mars and open the door to a renewed search for carbon-bearing compounds, last attempted with NASA’s Viking missions in the 1970s. A stereo color camera and a weather station will study the surrounding environment while the other instruments check excavated soil samples for water, organic chemicals and conditions that could indicate whether the site was ever hospitable to life. Microscopes can reveal features as small as one one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Launch of Phoenix aboard a Delta II rocket is targeted for Aug. 3 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.   Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1096

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Secured on the spin table, the backshell...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Secured on the spin table, the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside is ready for spin testing in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The Phoenix mission is the first... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- An overhead crane lowers the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside toward a spin table for spin testing in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's first openly competed program of Mars Scout missions. Phoenix will land in icy soils near the north polar permanent ice cap of Mars and explore the history of the water in these soils and any associated rocks, while monitoring polar climate. Landing is planned in May 2008 on arctic ground where a mission currently in orbit, Mars Odyssey, has detected high concentrations of ice just beneath the top layer of soil. It will serve as NASA's first exploration of a potential modern habitat on Mars and open the door to a renewed search for carbon-bearing compounds, last attempted with NASA’s Viking missions in the 1970s. A stereo color camera and a weather station will study the surrounding environment while the other instruments check excavated soil samples for water, organic chemicals and conditions that could indicate whether the site was ever hospitable to life. Microscopes can reveal features as small as one one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Launch of Phoenix aboard a Delta II rocket is targeted for Aug. 3 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.   Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1093

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- An overhead crane lowers the backshell w...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- An overhead crane lowers the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside toward a spin table for spin testing in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The Phoenix mission is ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, technicians secure the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside onto a spin table for spin testing.  The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's first openly competed program of Mars Scout missions. Phoenix will land in icy soils near the north polar permanent ice cap of Mars and explore the history of the water in these soils and any associated rocks, while monitoring polar climate. Landing is planned in May 2008 on arctic ground where a mission currently in orbit, Mars Odyssey, has detected high concentrations of ice just beneath the top layer of soil. It will serve as NASA's first exploration of a potential modern habitat on Mars and open the door to a renewed search for carbon-bearing compounds, last attempted with NASA’s Viking missions in the 1970s. A stereo color camera and a weather station will study the surrounding environment while the other instruments check excavated soil samples for water, organic chemicals and conditions that could indicate whether the site was ever hospitable to life. Microscopes can reveal features as small as one one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Launch of Phoenix aboard a Delta II rocket is targeted for Aug. 3 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.   Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1095

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facil...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, technicians secure the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside onto a spin table for spin testing. The Phoenix mission is the fi... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  This closeup shows the Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft nestled inside the backshell.  The spacecraft is ready for spin testing on the spin table to which it is attached in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's first openly competed program of Mars Scout missions. Phoenix will land in icy soils near the north polar permanent ice cap of Mars and explore the history of the water in these soils and any associated rocks, while monitoring polar climate. Landing is planned in May 2008 on arctic ground where a mission currently in orbit, Mars Odyssey, has detected high concentrations of ice just beneath the top layer of soil. It will serve as NASA's first exploration of a potential modern habitat on Mars and open the door to a renewed search for carbon-bearing compounds, last attempted with NASA’s Viking missions in the 1970s. A stereo color camera and a weather station will study the surrounding environment while the other instruments check excavated soil samples for water, organic chemicals and conditions that could indicate whether the site was ever hospitable to life. Microscopes can reveal features as small as one one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Launch of Phoenix aboard a Delta II rocket is targeted for Aug. 3 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.   Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1098

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- This closeup shows the Phoenix Mars Lan...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- This closeup shows the Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft nestled inside the backshell. The spacecraft is ready for spin testing on the spin table to which it is attached in the Payl... more

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

An overhead crane lifts the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside off its work stand in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The spacecraft is being moved to a spin table (back left) for spin testi... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- An overhead crane lowers the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside onto a spin table for spin testing in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's first openly competed program of Mars Scout missions. Phoenix will land in icy soils near the north polar permanent ice cap of Mars and explore the history of the water in these soils and any associated rocks, while monitoring polar climate. Landing is planned in May 2008 on arctic ground where a mission currently in orbit, Mars Odyssey, has detected high concentrations of ice just beneath the top layer of soil. It will serve as NASA's first exploration of a potential modern habitat on Mars and open the door to a renewed search for carbon-bearing compounds, last attempted with NASA’s Viking missions in the 1970s. A stereo color camera and a weather station will study the surrounding environment while the other instruments check excavated soil samples for water, organic chemicals and conditions that could indicate whether the site was ever hospitable to life. Microscopes can reveal features as small as one one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Launch of Phoenix aboard a Delta II rocket is targeted for Aug. 3 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.   Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1094

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- An overhead crane lowers the backshell w...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- An overhead crane lowers the backshell with the Phoenix Mars Lander inside onto a spin table for spin testing in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The Phoenix mission is th... more

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

Phoenix Mars Lander Spacecraft Processing

This closeup shows the spin test of the Phoenix Mars Lander in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's first openly competed program of Mars Scout missions. ... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  This closeup shows the Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft nestled inside the backshell.  The spacecraft will undergo spin testing on the spin table to which it is attached in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility. The Phoenix mission is the first project in NASA's first openly competed program of Mars Scout missions. Phoenix will land in icy soils near the north polar permanent ice cap of Mars and explore the history of the water in these soils and any associated rocks, while monitoring polar climate. Landing is planned in May 2008 on arctic ground where a mission currently in orbit, Mars Odyssey, has detected high concentrations of ice just beneath the top layer of soil. It will serve as NASA's first exploration of a potential modern habitat on Mars and open the door to a renewed search for carbon-bearing compounds, last attempted with NASA’s Viking missions in the 1970s. A stereo color camera and a weather station will study the surrounding environment while the other instruments check excavated soil samples for water, organic chemicals and conditions that could indicate whether the site was ever hospitable to life. Microscopes can reveal features as small as one one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Launch of Phoenix aboard a Delta II rocket is targeted for Aug. 3 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.   Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1097

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- This closeup shows the Phoenix Mars Lan...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- This closeup shows the Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft nestled inside the backshell. The spacecraft will undergo spin testing on the spin table to which it is attached in the Payl... more

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --   In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the backshell of the Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft is nestled inside the cruise stage (at top).  The solar array panels on the Phoenix will be deployed for pre-launch testing.  Phoenix will land in icy soils near the north polar permanent ice cap of Mars and explore the history of the water in these soils and any associated rocks, while monitoring polar climate. Landing on Mars is planned in May 2008 on arctic ground where a mission currently in orbit, Mars Odyssey, has detected high concentrations of ice just beneath the top layer of soil.  Phoenix is scheduled to launch Aug. 3.  Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton KSC-07pd1567

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Fac...

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the backshell of the Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft is nestled inside the cruise stage (at top). ... more

Animation Showing Backshell and Parachute

Animation Showing Backshell and Parachute

This image zooms in on the backshell and parachute, about 300 meters to the south of NASA Phoenix Mars Lander. In the distance, about 9 miles or 15 kilometers away, is a range of hills.. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univer... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians process the backshell for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL).  The backshell carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and is one part of the spacecraft's heat shield which, when both are integrated is called an aeroshell.        MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller KSC-2011-4314

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians process the backshell for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The backshell carries ... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians use an overhead crane to lower the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), onto a spin stand for testing. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.        MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller KSC-2011-4334

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians use an overhead crane to lower the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Labora... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians use an overhead crane to move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), to a spin stand for testing. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.          MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller KSC-2011-4330

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians use an overhead crane to move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laborat... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians use an overhead crane to move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), to a spin stand for testing. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.          MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller KSC-2011-4331

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians use an overhead crane to move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laborat... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians add weights (ejectable ballast mass) to the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), in order to conduct a spin and balance test. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.          MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-4400

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians add weights (ejectable ballast mass) to the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Scien... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians add weights (ejectable ballast mass) to the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), in order to conduct a spin and balance test. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.          MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-4402

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians add weights (ejectable ballast mass) to the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Scien... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), has been secured onto a spin stand for testing. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.      MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller KSC-2011-4335

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), has been secured onto a spin sta... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians using an overhead crane, move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), back to a work stand after a spin and balance test. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.            MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4393

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians using an overhead crane, move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laborat... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians using an overhead crane, move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), back to a work stand after a spin and balance test. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.            MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4394

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians using an overhead crane, move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laborat... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians using an overhead crane, move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), back to a work stand after a spin and balance test. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.            MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4391

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians using an overhead crane, move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laborat... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians using an overhead crane, move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), back to a work stand after a spin and balance test. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.            MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4389

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians using an overhead crane, move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laborat... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians using an overhead crane, move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), back to a work stand after a spin and balance test. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.            MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4395

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians using an overhead crane, move the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laborat... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians have moved the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), back to a work stand after a spin and balance test. The aeroshell consists of the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft's heat shield.            MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4397

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians have moved the aeroshell, a component of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), back to ... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians, using an overhead crane, separate the two components of the aeroshell, an element of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), after testing. The aeroshell consists of the spacecraft's heat shield and the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing.                    MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4523

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians, using an overhead crane, separate the two components of the aeroshell, an element of N... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians, using an overhead crane, separate the two components of the aeroshell, an element of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), after testing. The aeroshell consists of the spacecraft's heat shield and the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing.                  MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4524

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians, using an overhead crane, separate the two components of the aeroshell, an element of N... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians, attaching an overhead crane, prepare to separate the two components of the aeroshell, an element of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), after testing. The aeroshell consists of the spacecraft's heat shield and the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing.                MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4520

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians, attaching an overhead crane, prepare to separate the two components of the aeroshell, ... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians, using an overhead crane, separate the two components of the aeroshell, an element of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), after testing. The aeroshell consists of the spacecraft's heat shield and the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing.        MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4526

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians, using an overhead crane, separate the two components of the aeroshell, an element of N... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians prepare to separate the two components of the aeroshell, an element of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), after testing. The aeroshell consists of the spacecraft's heat shield and the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing.              MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4518

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians prepare to separate the two components of the aeroshell, an element of NASA's Mars Scie... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians prepare to separate the two components of the aeroshell, an element of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), after testing. The aeroshell consists of the spacecraft's heat shield and the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing.              MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-2011-4517

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians prepare to separate the two components of the aeroshell, an element of NASA's Mars Scie... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians process the backshell for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The spacecraft's backshell, which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, when joined with the heat shield, is called an aeroshell.      A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Charisse Nahser KSC-2011-4872

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians process the backshell for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The spacecraft's backsh... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover known as Curiosity, is secured on a work stand for processing. The spacecraft's backshell (left), which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, in addition is the rocket-powered descent stage (background), also is visible in the image.        A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-4948

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover known as Curiosity, is secured on a work stand for proce... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover known as Curiosity, is secured on a work stand for processing (background left). The spacecraft's backshell (right), which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, in addition is the rocket-powered descent stage (foreground right), also visible in the image.      A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-4950

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover known as Curiosity, is secured on a work stand for proce... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians attach an overhead crane to NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover known as Curiosity, for its move to a work stand. The spacecraft's backshell (right), which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, also is visible in the image.        A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-4941

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. -- At the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians attach an overhead crane to NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover known as Curiosi... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, facing camera, NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abalati, left, and Ben Thoma, the MSL Assembly, Test and Launch Operations mechanical lead, discusses the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover known as Curiosity at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Waleed Abalati, right, also took part in the tour. The backshell carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing.     A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-5071

Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, facing c...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, facing camera, NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abalati, left, and Ben Thoma, the MSL Assembly, Test and Launch Operations mechanical lead, discusses the... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, left, listens as Ben Thoma, the MSL Assembly, Test and Launch Operations mechanical lead, discusses the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover known as Curiosity at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Waleed Abalati, right, also took part in the tour. The backshell carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing.     A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-5069

Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, left, li...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, left, listens as Ben Thoma, the MSL Assembly, Test and Launch Operations mechanical lead, discusses the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover k... more

Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, facing camera, and NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abalati listen as Ben Thoma, the MSL Assembly, Test and Launch Operations mechanical lead, discusses the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover known as Curiosity at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Waleed Abalati, right, also took part in the tour. The backshell carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing.     A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-5070

Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, facing c...

Cape Canaveral, Fla. – NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, facing camera, and NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abalati listen as Ben Thoma, the MSL Assembly, Test and Launch Operations mechanical lead, discusses ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, known as Curiosity, is being prepared to be moved to a rotation fixture for testing. The spacecraft's backshell (left), which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, also is visible in the image.    A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-5876

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, known as Curiosity, is being prepared to be moved to a ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, known as Curiosity, is being prepared to be moved to a rotation fixture for testing. The spacecraft's backshell (right), which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, also is visible in the image.    A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-5878

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, known as Curiosity, is being prepared to be moved to a ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians process the heat shield for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The spacecraft's heat shield, when joined with the backshell which carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing, is called an aeroshell.    A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-5879

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians process the heat shield for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The spacecraft's heat... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians process the backshell for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The spacecraft's backshell carries the parachute and several components used during later stages of entry, descent and landing of MSL's rover, Curiosity.    A United Launch Alliance Atlas V-541 configuration will be used to loft MSL into space. Curiosity’s 10 science instruments are designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including chemical ingredients for life.  The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover’s spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. MSL is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Nov. 25 with a window extending to Dec. 18 and arrival at Mars Aug. 2012. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann KSC-2011-5877

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians process the backshell for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). The spacecraft's backsh... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are in a Keith thermal automation oven in the Thermal Protection System Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Inside the oven, the tiles will be baked at 2,200 degrees F to cure their ceramic coating. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1575

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed t...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are in a Keith thermal automation oven in th... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Frank Pelkey, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, inspects a heat shield tile that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1590

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Frank Pelkey, a United Space Alliance technici...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Frank Pelkey, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, inspects a heat shield tile that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are manufactured inside the Thermal Protection System Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The insulation includes thermal barriers that are used around hatches, thrusters and other open areas of the backshell to protect the joints from heat. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1597

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed t...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are manufactured inside the Thermal Protecti... more

Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance engineering manager at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, unpacks the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The tiles are being manufactured and inspected in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. The tiles will be baked at 2,200 degrees F to cure their ceramic coating. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1572

Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance engineering manager at NASA's Kenn...

Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance engineering manager at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, unpacks the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1578

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technic...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- United Space Alliance workers, Tim Wright, left, and Chris Keeling, manufacture the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in the Thermal Protection System Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1593

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- United Space Alliance workers, Tim Wright, lef...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- United Space Alliance workers, Tim Wright, left, and Chris Keeling, manufacture the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Ex... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are being manufactured in the Thermal Protection System Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1580

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed t...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are being manufactured in the Thermal Protec... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Frank Pelkey, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, inspects a heat shield tile that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1591

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Frank Pelkey, a United Space Alliance technici...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Frank Pelkey, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, inspects a heat shield tile that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1579

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technic...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1582

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technic...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are removed from a Keith thermal automation oven. Inside, the tiles were baked at 2,200 degrees F to cure their ceramic coating. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1587

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed t...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are removed from a Keith thermal automation ... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1581

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technic...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- -- Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance engineering manager at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, explains the properties of the thermal barriers that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1598

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- -- Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance enginee...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- -- Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance engineering manager at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, explains the properties of the thermal barriers that will be installed to the backsh... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1583

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technic...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are in a Keith thermal automation oven in the Thermal Protection System Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Inside the oven, the tiles will be baked at 2,200 degrees F to cure their ceramic coating. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1576

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed t...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are in a Keith thermal automation oven in th... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1584

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technic...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Chris Keeling, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, manufactures the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance engineering manager at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, explains the properties of the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1588

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance engineerin...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance engineering manager at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, explains the properties of the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshel... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are manufactured inside the Thermal Protection System Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The insulation includes thermal barriers that are used around hatches, thrusters and other open areas of the backshell to protect the joints from heat. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1596

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed t...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are manufactured inside the Thermal Protecti... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance engineering manager at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, unloads the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The tiles are being manufactured and inspected in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. The tiles will be baked at 2,200 degrees F to cure their ceramic coating. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1573

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance engineerin...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Tim Wright, a United Space Alliance engineering manager at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, unloads the heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Mult... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are manufactured inside the Thermal Protection System Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The insulation includes thermal barriers that are used around hatches, thrusters and other open areas of the backshell to protect the joints from heat. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1595

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed t...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The heat shield tiles that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule are manufactured inside the Thermal Protecti... more

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Frank Pelkey, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, inspects a heat shield tile that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle's Exploration Flight Test EFT-1 capsule. The work to manufacture and inspect the tiles is taking place in Kennedy's Thermal Protection System Facility. EFT-1 will be used during Orion's first test flight in space. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/orion. Photo credit: Frankie Martin KSC-2012-1589

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Frank Pelkey, a United Space Alliance technici...

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Frank Pelkey, a United Space Alliance technician at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, inspects a heat shield tile that will be installed to the backshell of the Orion Multi-Purpose... more