Members of the media gather near the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, documenting the arrival of the 197-foot-tall United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket after its early morning move from the nearby Vertical Integration Facility (VIF). Atop the rocket is NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), enclosed in its payload fairing. The rocket began its move from the VIF at 8 a.m. EST and reached the launch pad at 8:40 a.m.
Liftoff is planned during a launch window which extends from 10:02 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. EST on 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/Ken Thornsley