Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror
June 23, 2012
Team members share the challenges of Curiosity’s final minutes to landing on the surface of Mars.
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL, or Curiosity) is a Mars rover launched by NASA on November 26, 2011. Currently en route to the planet, it is scheduled to land in Mars at about 05:31 UTC on August 6, 2012. The rover’s objectives include searching for past or present life, studying the Martian climate, studying Martian geology, and collecting data for a future manned mission to Mars.
Curiosity is about five times larger than the Spirit or Opportunity Mars exploration rovers, and carries over ten times the mass of scientific instruments. It will attempt a more precise landing than previous rovers.