The Ten Instruments That Mars Rover Curiosity Will Use to Investigate the Red Planet

Mars Rover Curiosity is the latest in a robotic chain of explorers created by scientists and engineers, with each new iteration building on past Mars rovers’ successes and failures. Mars Rover Curiosity is similar to rovers that have gone before. But it’s the most advanced rover ever, and the instruments it carries to analyze Mars will give us more insight than we’ve ever had.

Click to launch the photo gallery

There’s still a lot for us to learn. The existence of life (or past evidence of it), deposits of water, the components of its surface–the mysteries of the red planet are still many, and the chance to explore it is a rare one. So scientists and engineers have spared no expense ensuring that Curiosity will have the equipment it needs to educate us about our planetary neighbor.

When it lands on August 5, the rover will shoot neutrons into the rocky surface of Mars, monitor every movement of the wind, vaporize and analyze samples, and otherwise use the best space-age technology available to uncover the planet’s secrets.

Radiation Assessment Detector
Mastcam Camera
Mars Hand Lens Imager
The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station
Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer
Chemistry and Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction Instrument
The Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument
Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons