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Opportunity will soon have company on the surface. NASA is set to launch a mobile laboratory named Curiosity in the latest quest to find habitable environments. The three-week launch window opens on Nov. 25.

The space agency said this week pre-flight testing is taking longer than expected and it does not yet know whether it can make the start of the launch period.

With a $2.5 billion price tag, Curiosity is the most expensive and advanced rover to Mars yet. Once it lands in summer 2012, it will study a mountain inside a 96-mile-wide crater to determine whether conditions were favorable to support microbial life.



Mars mission:


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