The Curiosity will land near the base of a layered mountain and will examine whether environmental conditions have ever been favourable for development of microbial life.
Curiosity is more than five times heavier than the previous Mars rover, and is equipped to study powdered rock samples, as stated by US space agency on Nov 10. It is now sitting atop an Atlas V rocket awaiting liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 10.25 a.m. on Nov 25.
Mars Science Laboratory project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pete Theisinger said, "Preparations are on track for launching at our first opportunity." He further said, "If weather or other factors prevent launching then, we have more opportunities through Dec 18."