MSL mission aeroshell

In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians inspect under NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission aeroshell, where the wheels of the rover Curiosity can be seen.  Image credit NASA

MSL’s components include a 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 chemical ingredients for life.

The unique rover will use a laser to look inside rocks and release its gases 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 scheduled for Nov. 26 from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Image credit: NASA and Glenn Benson

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