Mars Science Laboratory cruise stage

Mars Science Laboratory cruise stage

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Credit: NASA/JPL-CALTECH/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) cruise stage being prepared for a test in the space simulation chamber. Visible on top of the cruise stage are the solar panels that will power it during its journey. The MSL is due for launch at the end of November 2011 and to land on Mars in August 2012 on a mission to determine if Mars is, or was ever, able to support microbial life. Photographed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, USA, on 24th August 2010.

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