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curiositydrive JPL Curiosity Mobility Platform

My family and I went to the wonderful NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Open House this weekend. Among the many fascinating sights they shared with the public, this was our favorite. The mobility test platform for the Curiosity Mars rover. With its rocker-bogie passive balance suspension system, this bot does not consider large rocks to be much of an obstacle. At 20″, its wheels are twice the size of those of its predecessors, including the forever-stuck Spirit. Plus, there was a woman from JPL controlling it from an iPhone.

Here’s a photo I took of the actual Curiosity rover in the clean room, awaiting its trip to Cape Canaveral for a November 2011 launch to Mars.

curiosityclean JPL Curiosity Mobility Platform

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at jpixl.net and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.


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