A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover lifts off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. The rocket will deliver a science laboratory to Mars to study potential habitable environments on the planet. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
Graphic of the Mars Science Laboratory, an elite six-wheeled vehicle powered by nuclear fuel, is scheduled to launch at 10:02 am (1502 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida atop an Atlas V rocket
The size of a compact car, nuclear powered, autonomous guidance, what’s not to geek love? Of course it’s a full press design very low fault tolerant landing system, albeit really cool, and probably warranted to work for years…exact opposite of the last two plucky cheap little explorers we sent. So I have to hope all goes well. This is not likely to be repeated for a decade if it goes thump.
Good luck Curiosity, let’s just hope you’re no cat.