News

Nov 26, 2011 8:10 AM by Kate Richards

Mission to Mars

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA is all set to launch the world's biggest extraterrestrial explorer.

A six-wheeled, one-armed Mars rover is due to blast off Saturday morning from Cape Canaveral. The unmanned Atlas V rocket will put the spacecraft on an 8½-month trek to the red planet.

The rover, nicknamed Curiosity, is the size of a car. It's a mobile laboratory holding 10 science instruments that will sample Martian soil and rocks, and analyze them right there on the surface.

There's a drill as well as a stone-zapping laser machine.

Curiosity will spend two years looking for evidence that Mars may once have been - or still is - suitable for microbial life.

The mission costs $2.5 billion.

Forecasters expect decent launching weather.

»Comments

»Topics in this article

More News

Most Popular

Top Videos

1 2 3 4