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Atlas V Mars Science Lab poised for liftoff

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla.  -  A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Science Lab (MSL) rover Curiosity rolls out to its Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad, arriving at 8:40 a.m. EST today.  After landing on Mars in August 2012, MSL’s prime mission will last one Martian year (nearly two Earth years). Researchers will use the rover’s tools to study whether the landing region has environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life. The launch of the MSL mission is set for Saturday, Nov. 26, with the launch window opening at 10:02 a.m. EST. (United Launch Alliance photo/Pat Corkery)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. - A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Science Lab (MSL) rover Curiosity rolls out to its Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad, arriving at 8:40 a.m. EST today. After landing on Mars in August 2012, MSL’s prime mission will last one Martian year (nearly two Earth years). Researchers will use the rover’s tools to study whether the landing region has environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life. The launch of the MSL mission is set for Saturday, Nov. 26, with the launch window opening at 10:02 a.m. EST. (United Launch Alliance photo/Pat Corkery)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla.  -  A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Science Lab (MSL) rover Curiosity rolls out to its Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad, arriving at 8:40 a.m. EST today.  After landing on Mars in August 2012, MSL’s prime mission will last one Martian year (nearly two Earth years). Researchers will use the rover’s tools to study whether the landing region has environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life. The launch of the MSL mission is set for Saturday, Nov. 26, with the launch window opening at 10:02 a.m. EST. (United Launch Alliance photo/Pat Corkery)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. - A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with NASA’s Mars Science Lab (MSL) rover Curiosity rolls out to its Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad, arriving at 8:40 a.m. EST today. After landing on Mars in August 2012, MSL’s prime mission will last one Martian year (nearly two Earth years). Researchers will use the rover’s tools to study whether the landing region has environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life. The launch of the MSL mission is set for Saturday, Nov. 26, with the launch window opening at 10:02 a.m. EST. (United Launch Alliance photo/Pat Corkery)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- NASA's Mars Science Laboratory with is centerpiece Curiosity rover, depicted here, is scheduled to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket Saturday from Launch Complex 41. The launch window is 10:02-11:45 a.m. The rover will assess whether Mars was, or is still today, an environment able to support microbial life and determine the planet's habitability. (Graphic courtesy of NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- NASA's Mars Science Laboratory with is centerpiece Curiosity rover, depicted here, is scheduled to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket Saturday from Launch Complex 41. The launch window is 10:02-11:45 a.m. The rover will assess whether Mars was, or is still today, an environment able to support microbial life and determine the planet's habitability. (Photo courtesy of NASA)