Mission Timeline

Mission Timeline: Launch
Mission Timeline: Cruise/Approach
Mission Timeline: Entry, Descent, Landing
Mission Timeline: Surface Operations

Mission Timeline Summary

Key Dates

Launch: November 26, 2011
Launch Location: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Landed: August 5, 2012
Mission Duration: 2012 - Present
Rover Mass: 899 kilograms (1,982 pounds)
Electrical Power: Radioisotope Power System
Rocket: Atlas V 541
Mission Fact Sheet: Mission Fact Sheet (PDF, 768 KB)

The phases of the mission include:

Pre-launch Activities Preparation for the mission, including landing site selection, assembly and testing, and delivery to Cape Canaveral
Launch Lift-off from Earth
Cruise Voyage through space to Mars
Approach Nearing the red planet
Entry, Descent, and Landing Journey through the martian atmosphere to the surface
First Drive After landing when engineers first conduct tests to ensure the rover is in a "safe state"
Surface Operations Learning about Mars through the day-to-day activities of the rover
Visit MSL for Scientists for technical information on science planning