Take one last look at Curiosity, NASA's next Mars rover

If you've been keeping up with NASA's research efforts on Mars, you know that their Opportunity rover is nearing the end of its over seven-year stay on the red planet. But NASA's already gearing up for its next stage of Martian research with Curiosity, the six-wheel-drive, plutonium-powered science lab slated to depart on its nine-month trip to Mars the day after Thanksgiving.

The picture up top shows Curiosity (also known as the Mars Science Laboratory) as it appeared in its fully-deployed configuration last Friday. Since Saturday, however, NASA engineers have been packing the rover down for its trip. So take a good look, everybody — this is probably the last time Curiosity will ever be pictured in this configuration; the next time Curiosity looks like this, it will be millions of miles away, recently landed on the surface of Mars.

To see a stunning depiction of Curiosity breaking Martian atmosphere and landing on the planet's surface, check out our previous post.

via SPACE.com