Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Curiosity is on its way to Mars!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

26-11-2011 9:09 CST

Topics: pretty pictures, mission status, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), rockets

It was a textbook launch for the Atlas V 541 today at 15:02 UTC, and within an hour after liftoff, the Centaur second stage had sent Curiosity on its way for an 8.5-month journey to Mars. (Says my older daughter: "Mars is close, if you go fast.") As I write, the spacecraft is confirmed to be "power-positive," meaning its solar panels are recharging its batteries, and it's talking to the Canberra Deep Space Network station. The second scariest moment of Curiosity's life is behind us! Now to anticipate that scariest time, the entry, descent, and landing coming up next August...

Curiosity launches on an Atlas V

Pat Corkery / United Launch Alliance

Curiosity launches on an Atlas V
On Saturday, November 26 at 10:02 ET (15:02 UT), an Atlas V rocket carrying the Mars Science Laboratory lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

(My younger daughter's version of the liftoff countdown: "One...two...twee....Wheeee!")

More photos here.

See other posts from November 2011


Or read more blog entries about: pretty pictures, mission status, Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory), rockets


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search


Advocate for Space!

Fifteen years ago, Society members and passionate space advocates like you helped save the Pluto mission. Now we can do the same for missions to Europa and Mars.

Join over 27,600 people who have completed their petition and consider a donation to support advocacy efforts.

Sign Our Petition

Featured Images

The Magnificent Neptunian System
Pluto's blue skies
51 Eridani b
51 Eridani b (artist's conception)
More Images

Featured Video

A Perfect, Clear Day: LightSail's Launch

Watch Now

Fly to an Asteroid!

Send your name and message on Hayabusa-2.

Send your name

Selfies to Space!

Take flight with a selfie on LightSail™ in 2016!

Send a Selfie Now

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!