Photos: Watching the Mars Rover Curiosity Blast Off

Curiosity Rover Spacecraft Separation

Mike Wall/

People broke into applause at Kennedy Space Center's press site when the Curiosity rover's spacecraft separated from its Atlas 5 rocket about 45 minutes after launch on Nov. 26, 2011.

Bill Nye After Curiosity Rover Launch

Mike Wall/

Bill Nye, head of the Planetary Society and former host of the TV show "Bill Nye the Science Guy," stops by the press room at NASA's Kennedy Space Center after the launch of the Curiosity Mars rover on Nov. 26, 2011.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.