CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The Atlas V payload fairing containing NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft rises above the floor of the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The fairing will be placed on a transporter for the move to Space Launch Complex 41. MSL's components include a compact car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for evidence on whether Mars has had environments favorable to microbial life, including the chemical ingredients for life. The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gasses so that the rover's spectrometer can analyze and send the data back to Earth. Launch of MSL aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is planned for Nov. 25 from Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
More information about Curiosity is online at: http://www.nasa.gov/msl or http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl .
Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
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