The next “Second Saturday Stars” program at the John J. McCarthy Observatory in New Milford will be held Aug. 11 from 8 to 10 p.m.

The program, “The Evolution of Curiosity ‘s Sampling Capability During Operations,” will be offered at the observatory behind New Milford High School on Route 7 South.

The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover's sampling system is perhaps the most complex mechanical system ever sent to space to date.

Over the past six years of surface operations several anomalies have presented key challenges to the operation of the sampling system.

Engineers have continuously had to re-design sampling operations to work around mechanical degradation and mitigate new risks. Most recently, Curiosity has resumed drilling using an entirely new technique after a year and a half hiatus.

Doug Klein will broadcast from NASA’s JPL and will give attendees an insider’s account of this complexity of the mission.