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Massive NASA 'Curiosity' Probe Blasts Off to Mars: VIDEO


The Mars 'Curiosity' probe, which is the size of a car, and is NASA's largest-ever such explorer, is on its way to the red planet after a picture-perfect lift-off on Saturday:

A signal from NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, including the new Curiosity rover, was received by officials on the ground shortly after spacecraft separation. The spacecraft is flying free and headed for Mars after separation from the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that started it on its journey to the Red Planet. Liftoff was on time at 10:02 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

"Our spacecraft is in excellent health and it's on its way to Mars," said Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. He thanked the launch team, United Launch Alliance, NASA's Launch Services Program and NASA's Kennedy Space Center for their help getting MSL into space.

Watch the stunning lift-off and an intensely cool video of what the Curiosity probe will look like landing on the Martian surface, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. THis is so cool, glad these missions are happening in my lifetime to watch. Can't wait to see the first humans make the trek.

    Posted by: RonTEX | Nov 28, 2011 8:31:40 AM

  2. Science is the BOMB YO! I love it sooo much. While bigots look down at books living in the past, thinkers and dreamers look to the sky for the future!

    Posted by: Tonez | Nov 28, 2011 8:34:14 AM

  3. I'm very hopeful this project accomplishes what it's intended to accomplish. However, that's a LOT of moving parts to fail. I mean, there's not a lot of wiggle room for error on this project and there's a lot of wiggling going on here.

    Posted by: RBearSAT | Nov 28, 2011 9:40:07 AM

  4. OH my WOW, this project is AMAZING! I am so heartened by our capabilities to design, plan and execute such a complex, multi-faceted project.

    Hats off to all the incredible engineers, scientists, researchers and professionals at the Jet Propulsion Lab!!

    I am crossing my fingers this mission goes smoothly. RBEARSAT took the words out of my mouth by stating, "there's a LOT of moving parts". Truly amazing!

    And, yeah, science is awesome!!!!

    Posted by: Xavi | Nov 28, 2011 10:00:09 AM

  5. The landing will be harrowing. They've never tried it this way before.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 28, 2011 10:01:12 AM

  6. Keep up the great NASA coverage, Andy. Have you ever applied to attend one of their tweetups? Fantastic events, especially for a launch.

    Posted by: John | Nov 28, 2011 2:22:32 PM

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