Tim Bornholdt

Giant Nasa rover launches to Mars

Nicknamed Curiosity, the rover will take eight and a half months to cross the vast distance to its destination.

If it can land safely next August, the robot will then scour Martian soils and rocks for any signs that current or past environments on the planet could have supported microbial life.

A very exciting time to be a space fan.

Fun fact for the day: The rover is running on a plutonium-base battery that should last for 10 years.