(6 Jun 2018) LEADIN:
NASA scientists are expected to reveal new findings from their Mars Curiosity rover expedition tomorrow (7 June).
It's been on a mission to the red planet to search for evidence of life.
This is NASA's Mars Curiosity rover 'stunt double' on show in 2012.
What the real rover has found on its mission will be revealed by scientists at a news conference scheduled for 1800 GMT on 7 June 2018.
Curitosity launched November 26, 2011.
It took eight and a half months for it to make the 345-million-mile journey to Mars.
The rover, officially known as the Mars Science Laboratory, was launched by an Atlas V rocket.
More than 13,000 guests crowded the Cape Canaveral space center for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's first mission to Earth's next-door neighbour in four years, and the first launching of a Martian rover in eight years.
The one-ton Curiosity is about ten feet long and 9 feet wide and is a mobile, nuclear-powered laboratory holding 10 scientific instruments that have been sampling Martian soil and rocks. It also has a drill and a stone-zapping laser machine.
The primary goal of the $2.5 billion mission is to see whether Mars might once have been hospitable for microbial life — or might even still be conducive to life. No actual life detectors are on board; rather, the instruments will hunt for organic compounds.
The world has launched more than three dozen missions to Mars, the planet most like Earth in the solar system. Yet fewer than half of those quests have succeeded.
In March this year, Curiosity marked 2,000 days on the red planet.
That's 2,000 days by Martian standards. A Martian sol, or solar day, is equivalent to 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds. A Martian year is 687 Earth days.
The six-wheeled rover has travelled 11.6 miles (18.7 kilometers) since its arrival on August 5 2012.
What secrets Curiosity has uncovered about the red planet could be revealed when NASA scientists hold their news conference Thursday.
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