This artist's concept depicts Curiosity, the rover to be launched in 2011 by NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, as it is being lowered by the mission's rocket-powered descent stage during a critical moment of the 'sky crane' landing in 2012.

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This artist's concept from an animation depicts Curiosity, the rover to be launched in 2011 by NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, as it is being lowered by the mission's rocket-powered descent stage during a critical moment of the "sky crane" landing in 2012.

The Mars Science Laboratory mission is in assembly and testing for launch in autumn 2011 and delivering a rover named Curiosity to Mars in summer 2012.

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