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Published on Aug 9, 2012
Mars Curiosity Rover is carefully packed up for the trip to Florida before being launched by NASA on November 26, 2011. Curiosity landed in Gale Crater at about 05:31 UTC on August 6, 2012. The rover's objectives include searching for past or present life, studying the Martian climate, studying Martian geology, and collecting data for a future manned mission to Mars.
Curiosity is about five times larger than the Spirit or Opportunity Mars exploration rovers, and carries over ten times the mass of scientific instruments. It will attempt a more precise landing than previous rovers, within a landing ellipse of 7 km by 20 km,in the Aeolis Palus region of Gale Crater. This location is near the mountain Aeolis Mons (formerly called "Mount Sharp"). It is designed to explore for at least 687 Earth days (1 Martian year) over a range of 5--20 km (3--12 miles).