Technology development makes missions possible. Each Mars mission is part of a continuing chain of innovation. Each relies on past missions for proven technologies and contributes its own innovations to future missions. This chain allows NASA to push the boundaries of what is currently possible, while still relying on proven technologies.
Below are examples of the way in which the Mars Science Laboratory mission relies on past technologies and contributes new ones.
|Technologies of Broad Benefit|
|Propulsion: for providing the energy to get to Mars and conduct long-term studies|
|Power: for providing more efficient and increased electricity to the spacecraft and its subsystems|
|Telecommunications: for sending commands and receiving data faster and in greater amounts|
|Software Engineering: for providing the computing and commands necessary to operate the spacecraft and its subsystems|
|Entry, Descent, and Landing: for ensuring precise and safe landings|
|Autonomous Planetary Mobility: for enabling the rovers to make decisions and avoid hazards on their own|
|Technologies for Severe Environments: for making systems robust enough to handle extreme conditions in space and on Mars|
|Planetary Protection Technologies: for cleaning and sterilizing spacecraft and handling soil, rock, and atmospheric samples|
|Remote Science Instrumentation: for collecting Mars data from orbit|
|In-situ Instrumentation: for collecting Mars data from the surface|