Curiosity has successfully landed on the surface of Mars, and this car-sized rover is absolutely packed with equipment to research the red planet and send that information back to Earth. Curiosity's main computer is the RAD750, a single-board computer made by BAE systems that's been used in spacecraft like Deep Impact and the Kepler telescope. This particular computer is popular because it can withstand extreme temperatures and high levels of radiation, but there's a backup in the rare event it fails.

The PowerPC 750 CPU clocks at about 200MHz, and the computer has about 265MB of RAM, and 2GB of flash storage — not exactly a powerhouse, but more than enough to accomplish the tasks at hand. Curiosity uses VxWorks software, which has been used in all previous Mars rovers, Deep Impact, and various other missions, as well as in Honda's Asimo robot, BMW iDrive systems, and... the Apple Airport Extreme.

The rover also has 17 2-megapixel cameras on board, including the MastCam which can take 720p video at 10fps, and swivel to take 360 degree panoramic images of the surface. Another of the rover's 2-megapixel cameras, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), is designed to take closeups of minerals in hard-to-reach places, and the camera can also rotate to take Facebook-style pictures of the rover and its Martian friends.

Curiosity uses the same software as Deep Impact, BMW iDrive, and the Apple Airport Extreme

There are four Hazcams mounted on the corners of the rover, which Curiosity uses to build a 3D map of the planet's obstacles to automatically navigate around them. Also on board is a ChemCam, which vaporizes materials with an infrared laser, and uses a cupcake-sized spectrometer to analyze the materials. In addition, the rover carries a radiation monitor, a weather detector, various drills, and a slew of instruments designed to analyze samples from the planet's surface.

When it comes time to send these photos and analyses back to NASA, Curiosity can communicate with Earth's Deep Space Network (DSN) or use the cheaper ultra-high frequency transmitter (about 400MHz) to relay signals through the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's 6Mbps X-band antenna. All of the rover's operations are powered by 10.6 pounds of plutonium dioxide, another common component of space missions, which provides a little more than 100 watts of electricity from the heat of the isotope's decay. Now that Curiosity has survived its dangerous landing, we can see all of this equipment put to good use.