Aug 23, 2012
When the Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars, it was the culmination of years of fevered NASA planning. Curiosity was NASA's first large-scale public space exploration mission since the Space Shuttle program ended, and the SUV-sized rover's dramatic landing made headlines around the world. NASA, however, isn't a one-stop shop. Getting Curiosity to Mars and sending pictures back to earth required extensive collaboration with hundreds of private firms. The extensive R&D programs required to get the Curiosity rover going spurred technical development around the world, creating benefits that will return to the consumer goods market.