This image was taken in the cleanroom where NASA's Curiosity rover is being assembled. It shows the rover, which is about the size of an SUV, hoisted on a white lift, with its black wheels suspended in the air.

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Engineers just installed six new wheels on the Curiosity rover, and rotated all six wheels at once on July 9, 2010. This milestone marked the first in a series of "tune ups" to get the rover ready for a drive in the cleanroom where it is being assembled at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

This video clip shows a half dozen engineers gathered around the Curiosity rover as they get it ready to spin its wheels for the first time. All six wheels spun at once for several rotations. The rover will land on Mars wheels first in the summer of 2012.

Curiosity is the centerpiece of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, which is expected to launch in late 2011, and touch down wheels-first in summer 2012.

For more information about the mission, see:

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