Space & Tech News: Mars Rover's "Seven Minutes of Terror"
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© 2012 National Geographic; graphic animation courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
Mars Rover's "Seven Minutes of Terror"
July 31, 2012—NASA has planned one of the most complicated spacecraft landings ever attempted for the Curiosity rover's touchdown on August 6 at about 1:30 am. ET.
The complex procedure involves the use of the largest supersonic parachute ever built and a "sky crane" to lower the rover onto the Martian surface. "If any one thing doesn't work just right," says one engineer, "it's game over!"