On Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the 197-foot-tall United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket rolls from the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Space Launch Complex-41, in the background, to the launch pad. 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.
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/Tony Gray