Gallery: Launching Curiosity

Launching into a partly cloudy sky, an Atlas 5 rocket soared into space and deployed NASA's Mars Science Laboratory toward the Red Planet. MSL and the Curiosity rover are beginning an eight-and-a-half month journey to Mars. Liftoff was at 10:02 a.m. EST (1502 GMT).

See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the launch.

Photo credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now

Expedition 29 Patch
Space models