NASA launch director Tim Dunn said the launch countdown was going well until his team spotted a frequency drift in the tracking beacon used by the Air Force's Eastern Range to track the Atlas 5 rocket after liftoff.
Rapid warming of the Antarctic Peninsula is bringing temperatures close to the warmth that followed the end of the last ice age, says lead researcher Richard Mulvaney, a paleoclimatologist with the British Antarctic Survey.
Engineers successfully tested the rover's steering abilities on Monday, and now they're ready to turn its six wheels for the first time since Curiosity landed on Mars on Aug. 5, officials announced today.
Despite a broken wind sensor, NASA prepared its Curiosity rover for a test drive by wiggling four of its six wheels. Wednesday's drive (Curiosity's first on the Red Planet) will take the rover 10 feet and back.
The next step in NASA's exploration of Mars is the test drive of its rover, Curiosity, on Wednesday. Curiosity's mission on Mars is to search for signs of life. The rover's broken wind sensor may make its exploration more challenging.