Mars Science Laboratory launched

CuriosityThe Mars Science Laboratory mission is launched toward the red planet on an Atlas V rocket. The ambitious unmanned mission is intended to deposit a car-sized, nuclear-powered rover, nicknamed Curiosity, on the surface of Mars for an extended survey of the planet’s surface. Heavier than any of its predecessors, Curiosity will use an unprecedented means of slowing itself for descent, dangling from a “sky crane” for a soft touchdown after descending through the Martian atmosphere behind a protective heat shield.