BEIJING, Nov. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- NASA has launched its Mars Science Laboratory, called "Curiosity". The laboratory left the Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida on an Atlas 5 rocket at about 10a.m. local time.
The rover will take eight and a half month to reach its destination. If it can safely land, the robot will then scour soil and rocks for any signs that current or past environments on the planet could have supported life. NASA expects a first communication from the cruising spacecraft at about 11 a.m. Florida time.
According to NASA, Curiosity is the largest and most complex piece of equipment ever to try to reach the surface of another planet.