Mars Science Laboratory Entering Martian Atmosphere

- Image ID: HRJ3FY
Mars Science Laboratory Entering Martian Atmosphere
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: HRJ3FY
Digital illustration showing NASA's Mars Science Laboratory aeroshell capsule as it enters the Martian atmosphere, with the Curiosity rover safely tucked inside the spacecraft's aeroshell. The spacecraft is being prepared for launch during sometime between November 25 and December 18, 2011, landing on Mars in early August 2012. The main goal of the mission, which will last about 2 years, is to study whether the landing region has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life and for preserving clues about whether life existed.