Curiosity rover is 100 days from Mars

May 3, 2012 at 6:48 PM
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PASADENA, Calif., May 3 (UPI) -- NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is now within 100 days of landing on the Red Planet, heading that way at 13,000 mph, the space agency said.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, carrying the 1-ton rover, has about 119 million miles to go toward its planned arrival at Mars August 5, NASA said.

"Every day is one day closer to the most challenging part of this mission," said Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

"Landing an SUV-sized vehicle next to the side of a mountain 85 million miles from home is always stimulating. Our engineering and science teams continue their preparations for that big day and the surface operations to follow."

Curiosity will be delivered the planet's surface to begin its two-year prime mission, landing on a mountain inside Gale Crater to study layers in the mountain for evidence of wet environments of early Mars.

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