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On Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the payload fairing protecting NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) stands atop the 197-foot-tall United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, which is ready to roll from the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41.
11.25.2011
Mars Science Lab Atop Atlas V
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- On Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the payload fairing protecting NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) stands atop the 197-foot-tall United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, which is ready to roll from the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) to the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41. The rocket began its move from the VIF at 8 a.m. EST and arrived at the pad at 8:40 a.m. Liftoff is planned during a launch window which extends from 10:02 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. EST on Nov. 26. MSL's components include a car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for signs of life, including methane, and help determine if the gas is from a biological or geological source.

More information about Curiosity is online at: http://www.nasa.gov/msl or http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

Image Credit: NASA

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