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Curiosity Is Away!

The Mars rover Curiosity launched from Florida aboard a rocket on November 26. It is scheduled to land on the Red Planet on August 5, 2012.

Curiosity is the size of a compact car, and is capable of tremendous analysis. The smaller rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were recently a huge success, We can hope for big science from Curiosity.

Wonderful videos of the rocket launch, Curiosity’s separation and departure from Earth orbit, and an animation of the planned landing (which is really cool!) are collected at Bad Astronomy, along with astronomer Phil Plait’s commentary.  Be sure to read why parachutes AND rockets are needed for the landing.

Go and watch the videos and be paying attention on Aug. 5, 2012.