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Labs gear up to handle data from Mars rover

Earthbound instruments in local laboratories are poised to help scientists decipher the streams of data expected over the next two years from NASA’s latest Mars mission.

Much of the attention to the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft has focused on the tightly choreographed maneuver required to get Curiosity, the car-sized rover, safely into the planet’s Gale Crater, which occurred in the early hours of Monday morning. But for a handful of local scientists on the mission’s science team, who began arriving at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., last week, getting there safely was only the first step.

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