NASA is preparing to send a new rover to the Red Planet.
The next Mars Rover has been placed on top of a rocket that will take it Mars. The rocket is expected to launch sometime in the next three weeks.
Technicians hoisted the car-size Curiosity rover — the centerpiece of NASA’s $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission — atop its Atlas 5 rocket early last week at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Rocket and rover are slated to blast off Nov. 25.
Curiosity had been at a servicing facility at NASA’s nearby Kennedy Space Center. In last Thursday’s predawn hours, a heavy-duty transporter vehicle rolled the rover, encapsulated in its payload fairing, to Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 41, where the Atlas 5 awaited.