PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- NASA's newest Mars rover is gearing up for a road trip. But first, it has to drill into a rock.
Curiosity's first priority in the new year is to test out its drill. Mission managers had wanted to get it done this year, but they ran out of time because other activities took longer than expected.
The car-size rover landed in a crater near the Martian equator over the summer to great fanfare. Since then, it has been taking it slow.
Curiosity is expected to start the drive to a mountain in mid-February after drilling is complete. Scientists predict it'll take nine months to get there with stops along the way.
The rover is on a two-year mission to determine whether the landing site could have been favorable for life.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click here to see the latest mugshots in Palm Beach County
Click here to see the latest mugshots in St. Lucie County.
Get the latest updates, photos and video from the devastation in Moore, Okla. Also, see how to help.
Latest News Stories
WATCH VIDEO: In a wide-ranging national security speech, President Barack Obama was interrupted several times by a woman urging the immediate closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.