NASA's Mars rover, Curiosity, is scheduled to land on the Red Planet on Aug. 6 and has a lot of work ahead of it: The rover will search for signs that Mars is, or ever was, habitable.
After landing, the rover will spend a two-year prime mission studying whether the area has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for life. Part of this mission includes seeking signs of water buried beneath the planet's surface
According to NASA, the rover is part of the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission.
On Monday, the Mars Science Laboratory flight team began executing its procedure for entry, descent and landing, and the spacecraft began its sequence leading to the landing this coming weekend, according to NASA.
As of Monday, the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft carrying the rover Curiosity traveled about 343 million miles of its 352-million-mile flight to Mars.