NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission set down a large mobile laboratory, the rover Curiosity, using precision-landing technology that makes many of Mars’ most intriguing regions viable destinations for the first time. During the 23 months after landing, Curiosity will analyze dozens of samples drilled from rocks or scooped from the ground as it explores with greater range than any previous Mars rover.
More Photography from Time
- Window on Infinity: From Saturn to Mars to Deep Space to Home
- These are 11 of the Oldest Things in the World
- Window on Infinity: Winter Pictures from Icy Space
- Breathaking Panoramas and Mosaics From Opportunity’s Decade on Mars
- Space Photos: 45-Year-Old Footprints, and More
- Earthrise on Christmas Eve: The Picture That Changed the World