All going well, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover will launch at 1.02 am AEST tomorrow morning (Sunday) all going well from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida (or 2.02 am Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time). You will be able to watch the launch live via the Internet on NASA TV. If all goes well, the rover will arrive at, and land safely on Mars sometime between 6 and 20 August 2012.
There is a vague Australian link to the mission. The mission’s target landing site is Gale crater. The crater was named after Walter Frederick Gale, a Sydney (Australia) amateur astronomer who observed Mars in the late 19th century and described the presence of canals. Gale crater is is 154 km in diameter and believed to be about 3.5 to 3.8 billion years old.