29_35x90 knx_35x90

Local

After Delay, NASA Prepares Mars Rover Curiosity For Launch

View Comments
Photo Galleries

PASADENA (AP) — NASA engineers are putting the finishing touches on the next rover to Mars before shipping it off to Florida for launch later this year.

A small army of technicians dressed in protective bunny suits has been working almost nonstop inside a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory assembling Curiosity and testing its science instruments.

The size of a small SUV, Curiosity will drive around Mars and study whether the planet ever had the right environment to support primitive life.

The mission was supposed to launch in 2009, but technical setbacks and soaring costs forced a two-year delay.

NASA will begin shipping spacecraft parts to Cape Canaveral beginning next month. The $2.5 billion project is scheduled to launch in late November.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,398 other followers