As it awaits its 6th August landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover (aka Mars Science Laboratory) which was launched on 26 November last year, NASA has been showing a video detailing the engineering challenges and technology of re-entry and landing. The landing technique uses a "skycrane" method to gently lower the rover onto the surface from a rocket powered landing stage. The idea of this is not to kick ujp too much dust onto the instruments. The video is titled "Seven minutes of Terror" to illustrate just how risky the whole procedure is for the mission. And how much its watching engineers and scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena will be suffering.
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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology