This artist’s rendering released Sunday shows how the Curiosity rover will communicate during landing. As the rover descends, it will send basic radio-frequency tones directly to Earth (dots) and more complex UHF radio data (circles) that require relaying by orbiters. NASA’s Odyssey orbiter will relay the UHF signal immediately to Earth, while NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will record the UHF data and play it back to Earth at a later time.
Associated Press photo
In this NASA photo, Flight Systems Chief Engineer Rob Manning, left, smiles as he watches Flight Director Keith Comeaux move the final marble from the “Days Until Entry” countdown jar Sunday in Pasadena, Calif.