Mars Science Laboratory Stacked Spacecraft

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft has been fully stacked for flight in this photograph from inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in October 2011.

The spacecraft, including the Mars rover Curiosity, has been prepared for launch during the period Nov. 25 to Dec. 18, 2011. In a prime mission lasting one Martian year — nearly two Earth years — after landing, researchers will use the rover’s tools to study whether the landing region has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life.


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