NASA / JPL-CALTECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / JPL-CALTECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mars Science Laboratory. Computer artwork of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft cruising towards Mars. The disc-shaped area at left is the cruise stage. At right is the aeroshell, which encloses the Curiosity rover and the descent stage. The cruise stage is powered by solar energy and uses a star scanner to navigate. 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.
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