When NASA's Curiosity rover successfully landed on Mars Monday, it made history as the largest and most advanced rover to ever land on the Red Planet. For the next 23 months, the Curiosity will study the Martian surface, test for the existence of certain gases and chemicals, and conduct tests to determine whether there is, ever has been, or ever could be, life on Mars. To accomplish all this, the rover will employ technology, not just from NASA's Mars Science Laboratory team, but also from small businesses across the country.
According to CNNMoney, the Curiosity is currently supporting about 300 non-NASA related jobs. While much of NASA's $2.5 billion bankroll for the mission went to giants like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, here's a look at a few of the small businesses that are also making history (and money):