The Mars Science Laboratory “Curiosity” Rover.

It will take eight months to get there. It will have to be launched in between Thanksgiving and December 18th, 2011 and it will land between August 6th and August 20th 2012. This vehicle will be powered by radioactive plutonium and so will not be subject to the vicissitudes of Mars’ violent weather and sudden cloud cover that has plagued the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers. The self contained power plant will provide considerably more power, 2.5 kilowatts a day versus .6 kilowatts form the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. The Curiosity Rover is designed to see if Mars can, could or ever did contain life in any form. It will have powerful lasers that will vaporize rocks and other samples and sophisticated machinery that can analyze the results.