UPDATE 2: Mars Probe "Curiosity" On Its Way to Mars

UPDATE 2: Mars Probe "Curiosity" On Its Way to Mars

UPDATE 2:  Step two — done:  The Centaur upper stage successfully completed its two firings and separated from the spacecraft.  Mars Curiosity is now on its way to Mars with arrival in August 2012. The “Sky Crane” landing is the next big excitement.  

UPDATE:  On-time launch of the Atlas V-Centaur with Mars Curiosity.  The first step of this long journey is a success.

ORIGINAL STORY:  NASA plans to launch its Mars probe Curiosity in less than an hour, at 10:02 am EST.  Launch preparations are AOK for now.

The launch window this morning is open for 1 hour and 43 minutes.   Clouds come and go over the launch site at Cape Canaveral, FL, but forecasters expect the weather to be within specs at 10:02 for launch of the Atlas V-Centaur.

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