Mars Science Laboratory on the PadA United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA's Mars Science Lab (MSL) rover Curiosity rolls out to its Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad arriving at 8:40 a.m. EST today. After landing on Mars in August 2012, MSL's prime mission will last one Martian year (nearly two Earth years). Researchers will use the rover's tools to study whether the landing region has environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life. The launch of the MSL mission is set for Saturday, Nov. 26 with the launch window opening at 10:02 a.m. EST.
Image Credit: Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance.