Eight years after NASA began its new mission to explore Mars, the Curiosity Rover finally took off from Cape Canaveral, Fla early this morning. 

NASA's latest Mars mission will have Curiosity investigating whether or not the Red Planet was ever capable of hosting microbial life. It will take the car-sized Rover eight months to travel the 354-million-mile trip. It's the biggest and heaviest Rover ever sent into space by NASA, sporting 10 on-board tools and instruments including a rock-zapping laser. To assist with its landing, a never-before-used rocket-powered sky crane will lower the Rover down to the planet. 

Once on Mars, Curiosity with devote a good chunk of its time analyzing the different layers of a mound of sediment that has risen from the center of Gale Crater. Scientists believe the different layers hold the secrets to Mars's history and will be able to tell us if any life could have ever lived on the Red Planet. 

And here we thought John Carter of Mars already answered all these questions. 

[via MSNBC]