In celebration of NASA’s amazing, successful landing, check out these Curiosity rover patents! Congratulations to everyone at NASA, JPL, CalTech, Malin Space Science Systems, SwRI, ULA and everyone else involved in making this mission such a success!
Above is US design patent #D505,105 “Skycrane Landing System.” It covers the ornamental design of the celebrated skycrane!
Here, we see US design patent #D505,105 “Mars Aeroshell.” It covers the ornamental design of the spacecraft in its interplanetary transit configuration. This patent is also in the running for coolest patent title ever.
Next, US patent #7,113,265 “Powder Handling Device for Analytical Instruments” and US patent application #2009/0235747 “Balanced Mechanical Resonator for Powder Handling Device” related to technologies in Curiosity’s CheMin instrument. ChemMin is one of the rover’s many instruments. Specifically, CheMin is a powder X-ray Diffraction instrument which will examine ground up martian rocks for evidence of water!
How does Curiosity get down? Check out US patent application #2010/0228409 “Method and Apparatus for Powered Descent Guidance” to get an idea!
A Trip down memory lane
And finally, a trip down memory lane via the patent office: US design patent #D437,255 “Mars rover.” This patent covers the ornamental design of Sojourner, the first rover deployed on another planet.