At ignition, a glow of flame is barely visible beneath the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket as it launches with NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft. MSL lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 10:02 a.m. EST Nov. 26.
MSL's components include a car-sized rover, Curiosity, which has 10 science instruments designed to search for signs of life, including methane, and help determine if the gas is from a biological or geological source. For more information, visit http://www.nasa.gov/msl. Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Rick Wetherington