The size of a small car, Curiosity is much larger than previous Mars rovers and carries 10 science instruments.
POWER Dust can cover solar panels on Mars, so Curiosity generates its own power. Eleven pounds of plutonium dioxide generates heat, which is converted to electricity and used to recharge two lithium-ion batteries.
VISION Extending 7 feet above the ground, a mast holds Mastcam, a pair of high-definition cameras, and ChemCam, which can measure the composition of rock after shooting it with a laser.
DRIVE Each of the 20-inch aluminum wheels has its own motor.
REACH The rover’s 7-foot arm carries several tools, including a camera, an X-ray spectrometer, and a drill, brush and scoop for collecting samples.
ANALYSIS The rover’s body holds experiments for detecting ground water, measuring naturally occurring radiation and analyzing soil and rock samples delivered by the robotic arm.
And the landing site and path of Curiosity’s planned peregrinations (red line):