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NASA's MSL launch delayed to Saturday
Posted On: Nov 22, 2011
Artist concept of Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech.
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA (BNS):
The launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V carrying NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has been rescheduled for Saturday.
NASA has delayed the launch to allow time for the mission team to remove and replace a flight termination system battery. Liftoff will now take place at 10:02 a.m. EST on November 26 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The US space agency is launching the biggest, most expensive robotic vehicle ever built to explore Mars for signs of previous life there.
The Curiosity rover, known formally as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), is a USD 2.5 billion state-of-the-art vehicle equipped with video cameras and a sophisticated mobile tool kit for analysing rocks and soil on the red planet.
The rover will search for evidence about whether Mars had environments favorable for microbial life, including the chemical ingredients for life. It will explore the Gale Crater on Mars, just south of that planet's equator, where a range of soils exist and a small mountain gives the rover a chance to climb and analyze samples at different heights.
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