NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft. Payload fairing containing the MSL spacecraft being hoisted onto its Atlas V rocket. The fairing protects the spacecraft during launch and ascent through the Earth's atmosphere. 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 Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, USA, on 3rd November 2011.
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