(November 26th, 2011) From Cape Canaveral,Florida the Atlas 5 rocket lift off with it's delivery, the "Mars Rover 2". News link on launch below.
Below a link for those curious about info on Nasa's launch of the "Atlas 5 Rocket".
The near one-tonne rover, tucked inside a capsule, left Florida on an Atlas 5 rocket at 10:02 local time (15:02 GMT). Nicknamed Curiosity, the rover will take eight and a half months to cross the vast distance to its destination. If it can land safely next August, the robot will then scour Martian soils and rocks for any signs that current or past environments on the planet could have supported microbial life.
The Atlas flight lasted almost three-quarters of an hour. By the time the encapsulated rover was ejected on a path to the Red Planet, it was moving at 10km/s (6 miles per second). Spectacular video taken from the upper-stage of the rocket showed it drifting off into the distance.
"Our spacecraft is in excellent health and it's on its way to Mars," said Curiosity project manager Peter Theisinger. Nasa received a first communication from the cruising spacecraft about 50 minutes after lift-off through a tracking station in Canberra, Australia. Controllers will command a course correction manoeuvre in two weeks to refine the trajectory to the Red Planet.
The rover - also known as the Mars Science laboratory (MSL) is due to arrive at the Red Planet in early August 2012. Then, the hard part begins - landing safely. One senior space agency official this week called Mars the "Death Planet" because so many missions have failed to get down in one piece.
The Americans, though, have a good recent record and they believe a new rocket-powered descent system will be able to place the rover very precisely in one of the most exciting locations on the planet.
Info on "Mar's Rover Mission" below from "Nasa Science News":
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By: the demon
In: Science and Technology
Tags: Atlas 5, rocket, Rover, Mars Rover, Mars Rover 2, robot, exploration, news, news article
Location: Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States (load item map)
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