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From the moment the rover hits the Martian atmosphere it will start taking data. Studded in 14 locations around the probe’s heat shield are devices known as the Mars Science Laboratory Entry Descent and Landing Instrument (MEDLI). This equipment will provide information about Mars’ atmosphere and the dynamics of the rover’s descent, analyzing Curiosity’s trip to the surface and providing information helpful in designing future Mars missions.
Additionally, a special camera, the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) will be watching the view as the ground rushes up at Curiosity. By taking high-resolution color video during the probe’s landing sequence, MARDI will provide an overview of the landscape during descent and allow geologists back on Earth to determine exactly where Curiosity lands.
Curiosity has plenty of eyes to take in the view on the ground. Perched atop its head is the MastCam, two cameras capable of taking color images and video, as well as stitching pictures together into larger panoramas. One of these two cameras has a high-resolution lens, allowing Curiosity to study the distant landscape in detail.