Today approximately at 10:00 am EST, NASA has launched Mars Rover Code name Curiosity to Mars.
After eight years of planning, more than $600 million in cost overruns, and a two-year delay, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory is finally ready to launch.
Now you can watch the nuclear-powered, 1-ton rover — currently the largest machine that can feasibly land on the Red Planet — take off from Cape Canaveral and begin its journey to Mars.
Liftoff is currently scheduled for 10:02 a.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 26. NASA TV offers HD streaming of the launch (above). But if acronym-filled technobabble is hard on your ears, tune in to one of our other favorite video streams on Spaceflight Now or Spacevidcast (below).
You can also check with NASA's blog for launch commentary starting at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday or follow NASA (@NASA) and the Mars Science Laboratory (@MarsCuriosity) on Twitter for other updates. NASA has also laid out the details of the launch sequence.
Once it lands at Gale Crater in August of 2012, the rover will search for organic chemistry and evidence of whether Mars could ever have hosted life. The rover has a full suite of instruments including a drill and a laser, which will be used to vaporize rocks and gather data on their internal composition.
MSL is set to explore the Martian surface for at least two years and should provide the best data yet about the planet.
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