Curiosity rover ready to land on Mars

Posted by Mike Luttrell

NASA's next big space project is about to hit its apex.

A spacecraft is currently hurdling toward Mars at speeds in excess of 8,000 miles per hour. Inside the craft is one planetary rover by the name of Curiosity.

Designed to explore one of the lowest regions on Mars, the rover is a $2.5 billion mission designed to explore the planet and hopefully discover areas and return information that has previously been undiscovered.

The question that NASA scientists are still trying to answer is whether or not it is possible that life ever existed on the planet.

Mars has of course always been considered the one non-Earth planet where human life is the most sustainable, and in fact with the rise of commercial space travel, the Red Planet is becoming increasingly attractive. One company is even embarking on a mission to send humans there for a truly one-of-a-kind reality TV show.

As for NASA, though, it's all about scientific discoveries. Curiosity should finish its complex landing procedure today. Its destination - a crater believed to have been formed there by a meteor some 3.5 billion years ago.

NASA associate administrator John Grunsfeld said, "I think this is the Hubble Space Telescope of Mars exploration. This is the first time that we have a real analytical laboratory heading to the surface."

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