Canadian scientists, space fans ready to watch historic Mars rover landing

Originally posted on National Post | News:

MONTREAL — Canadian scientists are keeping their fingers crossed as NASA’s Curiosity — the largest Mars rover ever built — heads for a rendez vous with the red planet this weekend.

Not only is it the biggest vehicle ever sent to Mars, but the rover will gather a wealth of images with its multitude of cameras and will search for signs of past or present life.

It’s an event that’s expected to be watched closely by millions of people in the U.S., Canada and around the world.

[np-related]

Numerous “Mars landing parties” have also been planned, including in Toronto, Winnipeg and Montreal.

Similar in size to a compact car, the spacecraft was launched eight months ago with a Canadian instrument aboard. The Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS), one of 10 instruments on the Mars Science Laboratory mission (MSL), will help hunt for signs of life.

What else does Curiosity have…

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