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I have been looking all over and I can't find a detailed specification about the Curiosity Rover. The length is about 10 feet but it would be cool to find out the dimensions of the wheels, clearance and so on.

Anybody know where I would find this information?

See p. 6 of this document (2 MB PDF file). –  mmc Jun 25 '12 at 20:04

5 Answers 5

Though demensions are not covered, a detailed and complete account of the scientific instrumentation, especially the cameras, aboard MSL can be found on JPL's "Science Corner" site.

enter image description here

The JPL mission page has links that cover most of the physical specs, though not in the same detail as the instrumentation. Here you can, for example, confirm that the wheels are indeed about 50 cm in diameter:

enter image description here


According to CNES, the rover's dimensions are 2.9 x 2.7 x 2.2 m. That link has a few more details on the payload weights, but not much more than that.

The question pertained to the dimensions of the wheels, etc. –  adavid Oct 6 '12 at 23:19

Unfortunately, it might be slightly difficult to find precise specifications and dimensions. This isn't necessarily because they are trying to be secretive; it's just not something the public in general would need or benefit from.

That being said, you can certainly find some more information regarding dimensions. As Andrew already said, the wheels are half a meter (50 cm) in diameter. This blog post states that the clearance from the ground is 60 cm, but it doesn't given any references, so that information may not be completely accurate.

If you are truly interested in specific dimensions, then I suppose one thing that you could do (if you can't find them online) is find a scale model of it, and try to figure out the dimensions (such as this one from AAAS).

More interesting, in my opinion, are the numerous papers and discussions on the engineering challenges and electronic and software systems that went into making the rover. The JPL robotics website has a few freely available papers, but more are available from other sources if you look.


The actual mission is called the Mars Science Laboratory.

  • The NASA Mission page as some basic information and images, including this fact sheet.
  • The mission is run out of JPL and they have a mission page as well. This one actually has more information on the technology involved.
  • There is also a general Wikipedia article on the Mars Science Laboratory but I think you'll find more information on the JPL site.

The wheels are 50 cm in diameter.

Here is a picture of Curiosity next to some people, for scale.


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