A little more than two weeks after its arrival on Mars, the $2.5 billion rover, which landed on Mars on August 6, has performed a battery of tests and appears ready to embark on its two-year mission to explore the Red Planet in the hunt for signs of life. – Photos by AFP

The rover mission is set to explore for at least 687 Earth days (1 Martian year) over a range of 5 by 20 km. NASA anticipates that the rover will function for at least the limit the parts were tested for, which is four years.
The rover mission is set to explore for at least 687 Earth days (1 Martian year) over a range of 5 by 20 km. NASA anticipates that the rover will function for at least the limit the parts were tested for, which is four years.
This image released by NASA shows tracks (Upper-R) made by Curiosity's tires during its first test drive as seen by Navcam: Left A (NAV_LEFT_A) on board NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 16, August 22, 2012.
This image released by NASA shows tracks (Upper-R) made by Curiosity's tires during its first test drive as seen by Navcam: Left A (NAV_LEFT_A) on board NASA's Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 16, August 22, 2012.
Curiosity's tires during its first test drive as seen by Navcam. A little more than two weeks after its arrival on Mars, the $2.5 billion rover, which landed on Mars on August 6, has performed a battery of tests and appears ready to embark on its two-year mission to explore the Red Planet in the hunt for signs of life.
Curiosity's tires during its first test drive as seen by Navcam. A little more than two weeks after its arrival on Mars, the $2.5 billion rover, which landed on Mars on August 6, has performed a battery of tests and appears ready to embark on its two-year mission to explore the Red Planet in the hunt for signs of life.
The overall objectives include investigating Mars' habitability, studying its climate and geology, and collecting data for a manned mission to Mars.
The overall objectives include investigating Mars' habitability, studying its climate and geology, and collecting data for a manned mission to Mars.
The rover carries a variety of scientific instruments designed by an international team.
The rover carries a variety of scientific instruments designed by an international team.
Curiosity is about twice as long and five times as heavy as the Spirit and Opportunity Mars exploration rover payloads of earlier U.S. Mars missions, and carries over ten times the mass of scientific instruments.
Curiosity is about twice as long and five times as heavy as the Spirit and Opportunity Mars exploration rover payloads of earlier U.S. Mars missions, and carries over ten times the mass of scientific instruments.

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