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NASA launched Largest-ever robotic explorer : Atlas 5 Mars Rover

November 27, 2011
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover lifts off from Launch Complex 41at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket will deliver a science laboratory to Mars to study potential habitable environments on the planet.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover

The 197-foot-tall United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket rolls toward the launch pad
The biggest, most sophisticated robotic explorer ever built.The rover examines a rock on Mars with a set of tools

This artist concept shows NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars’ past or present ability to sustain microbial life. Curiosity is being tested in preparation for launch in late 2011. In this picture, the rover examines a rock on Mars with a set of tools at the end of the rover’s arm, which extends about 2 meters (7 feet).

Two instruments on the arm can study rocks up close. Also, a drill can collect sample material from inside of rocks and a scoop can pick up samples of soil. The arm can sieve the samples and deliver fine powder to instruments inside the rover for thorough analysis.

A “sky crane” lowers the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover onto the surface of Mars

A technician looks at NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover ‘Curiosity’

Technicians monitor movement of the robotic arm of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover ‘Curiosity’

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA engineers work on “Curiosity,” a mega-rover at the Mars Science Laboratory
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