More than 1 million people have watched NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover undergo assembly and testing via a live webcam that went online in October, NASA announced Nov. 30.

The MSL rover, known as Curiosity, is at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., being prepared for launch late next year aboard an Atlas 5 rocket. NASA says more than a million unique users spent more than 400,000 hours viewing rover assembly and testing between Oct. 21 and Nov. 23.

The rover and other spacecraft components are expected to ship this spring to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, MSL’s final stop before launching to Mars sometime between Nov. 25 and Dec. 18, 2011.