Out of This World Things Named -
"CURIOSITY" (Go Figure!!!)
The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission with the aim to land and operate a rover named Curiosity on the surface of Mars. The MSL was launched November 26, 2011, at 10:02 EST and is scheduled to land on Mars at Gale Crater between August 6 and 20, 2012.
The rover Curiosity, attempting a more precise landing than ever attempted previously, is intended to help assess Mars' habitability. Its primary mission objective is to determine whether Mars is or has ever been an environment able to support lifebut it will not look for any life itself. It is also intended to analyze samples scooped up from the soil and drilled from rocks.
Curiosity is five times as large, and carries more than ten times the mass of scientific instruments than the Mars Exploration Rovers Spiritor Opportunity did. The MSL rover Curiosity was launched by an Atlas V 541 rocket and is expected to operate for at least 686 days as it explores with greater range than any previous Mars rover.
Mars Science Laboratory mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of Mars, and the project is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of California Institute of Technology for NASA. The total cost of the MSL project is about US$2.5 billion.