MSL launch today

MSL atop of Atlas V sits on the pad Saturday morning

UPDATE: Beautiful launch! Watched Launch in HD on TV. Thanks ROKU!

UPDATE2: Centaur burn then vehicle separation sends vehicle out of orbit and toward Mars

The Mars Science Laboratory is poised on the launchpad atop an Atlas V and is scheduled for launch at 10:02 a.m. EST.

Weighing in at nearly 2,000 pounds, the Curiosity rover is bigger than any of the rovers sent to Mars before. A lot bigger. Curiosity’s wheelbase is about that of a small SUV and it stands seven feet high with its mast extended. Those measurements dwarf the three rovers NASA dispatched in recent years to the red planet. At just 23 pounds, the whole Sojourner rover is about one-third the 73-pound weight of the tool turret alone that Curiosity is carrying. Designers didn’t make Curiosity so big by accident. It is carrying 10 scientific instruments intended to answer some of the greatest questions of modern science. “While MSL is not a life-detection mission, we are on a mission to investigate the building blocks of life.” MSL Project Scientist John Grotzinger told reporters Monday.

Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Atlas V
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Launch Pad: Space Launch Complex 41
Launch Date: Nov. 26, 2011
Launch Time: 10:02 a.m. EST

Link for Live Video – Launch Coverage

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