Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
AP: 7b25f747-b20a-498c-8cad-75d18ea5033f
FILE - In this 2011 artist's rendering provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover examines a rock on Mars. After traveling 8 1/2 months and 352 million miles, Curiosity will attempt a landing on Mars the night of Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech, file)

PHOENIX -- Sunday could be a big day in the history of space exploration.

NASA is expected to land a rover, called Curiosity, on Mars over the weekend, designed to examine environmental conditions that could support life.

"Although the mission is not really designed to detect life, it's designed to detect the likelihood the right kind of environmental conditions to support life," said Kip Hodges, with the Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Explorations.

Hodges said an ASU alumnus will have control of a camera mounted on Curiosity's arm.

"Probably the most dramatic macro camera that's on Curiosity as well," he said. "We have lots of current faculty, students and alumni who are heavily involved with this particular mission."

Curiosity will be lowered onto Mars by a type of sky crane that acts like a bungee cord, something Hodges said has not been used before on other rover missions.

Hodges said the success of the current mission could put ASU in line for future missions of space exploration.

Martha Maurer, News Editor

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.