On Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the 197-foot-tall United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket arrives on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex-41, situated near the Atlantic Ocean. Atop the rocket is NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), enclosed in its payload fairing. The rocket began its move from the complex' Vertical Integration Facility 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