In this 2011 artist's rendering provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech, a "sky crane" lowers the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover onto the surface of Mars. The mobile robot is designed to investigate Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life. ((AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech))
November 22, 2011 1:26:03 PM PST
By MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - November 22, 2011 --
As big as a car and as well-equipped as a laboratory, NASA's newest Mars rover blows away its predecessors in size and skill.