Picture of the Day: Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory Rover

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Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory rover, is seen here sitting inside of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "Preparations continue for shipping the rover to [the] Kennedy Space Center in Florida in June for its fall 2011 launch," NASA explained. Curiosity is scheduled to launch in late November and should reach the surface of Mars by August of next year. Once there, the rover will work to determine whether Mars is -- or ever was -- an environment that could support life.

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Image: NASA.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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