SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown is planning to visit the Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists responsible for the successful mission to land the rover Curiosity on Mars.

Brown's office says he will visit the NASA laboratory in Pasadena on Wednesday to praise the science and innovation behind the $2.5 billion project.

The Democratic governor will tour the operations center, meet the lab operating team and view a full-scale model of Curiosity, which was built at JPL headquarters. It landed Aug. 5 in the Gale Crater and is starting to explore the planet's surface.

During its two-year mission, Curiosity is expected to analyze Martian rocks and soil as it drives toward Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-high mountain rising from the crater floor.