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Home As of June 2012, the target landing area for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission is the ellipse marked on this image of Gale Crater. The ellipse is about 12 miles long and 4 miles wide (20 kilometers by 7 kilometers). (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/MSSS) As of June 2012, the target landing area for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission is the ellipse marked on this image of Gale Crater. The ellipse is about 12 miles long and 4 miles wide (20 kilometers by 7 kilometers). (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/MSSS)

As of June 2012, the target landing area for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission is the ellipse marked on this image of Gale Crater. The ellipse is about 12 miles long and 4 miles wide (20 kilometers by 7 kilometers). (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/MSSS)

As of June 2012, the target landing area for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission is the ellipse marked on this image of Gale Crater. The ellipse is about 12 miles long and 4 miles wide (20 kilometers by 7 kilometers). (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/MSSS)

As of June 2012, the target landing area for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission is the ellipse marked on this image of Gale Crater. The ellipse is about 12 miles long and 4 miles wide (20 kilometers by 7 kilometers). (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/MSSS)

A June 2012 revision of the landing target area for Curiosity, the big rover of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, reduces the area’s size. It also puts the center of the landing area closer to Mount Sharp, which bears geological layers that are the mission’s prime destination. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/MSSS)