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NASA launches Mars Curiosity rover

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover lifts off from Launch Complex 41at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Saturday. The rocket will deliver a science laboratory to Mars to study potential habitable environments on the planet. (Nov. 26, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

The world's biggest extraterrestrial explorer, NASA's Curiosity rover, rocketed toward Mars on Saturday on a search for evidence that the red planet might once have been home to itsy-bitsy life.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying
Photo Credit: AP

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover lifts off from Launch Complex 41at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Saturday. The rocket will deliver a science laboratory to Mars to study potential habitable environments on the planet. (Nov. 26, 2011)

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying
Photo Credit: AP

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover lifts off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Saturday. The rocket will deliver a science laboratory to Mars to study potential habitable environments on the planet. (Nov. 26, 2011)

NASA's Curiosity rover, formally known as the Mars
Photo Credit: Getty Images

NASA's Curiosity rover, formally known as the Mars Science Laboratory, heads for space atop an Atlas 5 rocket from launch pad 41 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Mars Science Lab in expected to land on Mars early August 2012. (Nov. 26, 2011)

NASA's Curiosity rover, formally known as the Mars
Photo Credit: Getty Images

NASA's Curiosity rover, formally known as the Mars Science Laboratory, heads for space atop an Atlas 5 rocket from launch pad 41 at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Mars Science Lab in expected to land on Mars early August 2012. (Nov. 26, 2011)

In this 2011 artist's rendering provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech,
Photo Credit: AP

In this 2011 artist's rendering provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, a "sky crane" lowers the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover onto the surface of Mars. The mobile robot is designed to investigate Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life.

This picture provided by NASA shows the United
Photo Credit: Getty Images

This picture provided by NASA shows the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover being rolled out to Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. on Nov. 25, 2011. The launch team continues working towards liftoff of the Atlas V on Nov. 26, 2011.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with
Photo Credit: AP

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity stands ready for its launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Friday. The rocket scheduled to launch Saturday morning will deliver a science laboratory to Mars to study potential habitable environments on the planet. (Nov. 25, 2011)

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with
Photo Credit: AP

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity stands ready for its launch at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Friday. The rocket scheduled to launch Saturday morning will deliver a science laboratory to Mars to study potential habitable environments on the planet.(Nov. 25, 2011)

In this 2011 artist's rendering provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech,
Photo Credit: AP

In this 2011 artist's rendering provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover examines a rock on Mars with a set of tools at the end of its arm, which extends about 2 meters (7 feet). The mobile robot is designed to investigate Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life.

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