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Posts Tagged ‘atlas rocket’

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) lifts off in a picture perfect launch from Pad 41, Kennedy Space Center at 10:02 am EST, Saturday morning, November 26, 2011. The MSL will land on Mars on August 6, 2012, at Gale Crater. It will begin an exploration that could last years.

The current header shows the MSL several more seconds into the launch.

Control of the MSL mission will be in Pasadena, California, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory which developed Curiousity and managed to sneak its name onto the rover’s tire in Morse Code.

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Yeah, I took these launch photos (CLICK to ENLARGE them) from the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building at KSC.

This is a series of about 20 photographs of the launch, many of which will be posted here in coming days. I will also post photo reports, day by day, starting on Monday, November 21 (L-4) through the launch on November 26 (L-0). Because of Thanksgiving, L-2 was Wednesday, and L-1 was Friday. The launch count was suspended for a day on Thanksgiving.

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MSL mission LOGO

We spent the week at Kennedy Space Center in briefings on the Mars Science Laboratory which is scheduled to launch at 10:02 am EST, November 26, 2012, Saturday morning. Carol Anne will shoot it from the roof of the Launch Control Center. I’ll be on the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building. The Lab is scheduled to land on Mars on August 6, 2012.
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See animation of how MSL’s Curiosity rover will land on Mars HERE

Read more about this mission and other NASA stuff HERE.
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Carol Anne on the roadway that carried the Atlas rocket and the Mars Science Laboratory to Launch Pad 41 at Kennedy Space Center a few minutes earlier. It is Friday morning, November 25, 2011. With MSL on the pad, all that is left that is needed is favorable weather. Behind Carol Anne is the Pad 41 hangar belonging to the publicly owned United Launch Alliance (ULA) where the Atlas rocket and the MSL were mated.


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Pete at KSC Launch Pad 41. The Atlas rocket with the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) on top is in the background. The MSL weighs as astounding 2,000 pounds and is expected to determine once and for all whether there is or was life on Mars (hint: there was, and probably still is). It will also continue paving the way for a manned landing on Mars planned for about 2030. Before MSL lands the landing area at Gale Crater will be overflown by the two satellites the United States currently has on station orbiting Mars.


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To find NASA’s video of the launch of the Mars Science Laboratory click HERE — then look to the right for the launch video.

The launch video, from NASA, runs 3:59 and begins 15 seconds before the launch.

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The Mars Science Lab, atop an Atlas rocket, is moved from its hangar (left) to Pad 41 (right — the four lightning towers) where it is scheduled to begin a 9 month trip to the surface of Mars at 10:02 am, Saturday, November 26, 2011. This photo, taken about 9 am, Friday, November 25, 2011, shows the MSL stack about midway between the pad and the hangar. The photo was taken from The Beach House, a relaxation villa for astronauts (and once a private from before the space center took the property) on the Atlantic Ocean beach. On the extreme far right of this photograph, Pad 39-A, is visible. The final shuttle missions were launched from 39-A.
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.”petecrow/NASA” © 2011 by / Peter M. Crow and the Peter Michael Crow Trust and by Seine/Harbour® Productions, LLC, Studio City, California.

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Carol Anne Swagler's photograph of the Mars Science Laboratory attached to an Atlas rocket awaiting launch at Kennedy Space Center Pad 41. MSL was moved to the pad on Friday morning, November 25, 2011, one day before anticipated launch at 10:02 am Saturday, November 26, 2011. MSL is scheduled to land on Mars on August 6, 2012. This photograph was taken at 10:40 am Friday, November 25, 2011.

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