NASA Video: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror

Posted on June 25, 2012

Before Curiosity can begin investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life it first has to survive the descent to Mars. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has released this video to explain the challenges of the Curiosity Mars rover's final minutes to landing on the surface of Mars.

NASA scientists refer to the entry, descent and landing (EDL) on Mars as the 7 minutes of terror. There are 7 minutes when NASA has to get curiosity from the top of the atmosphere to the surface of Mars. NASA will be in the dark as to what is happening with Curiosity during this 7-minute period because it takes longer than that (about 14 minutes) for the signal from the spacecraft to make it to Earth. Take a look:

Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars on August 6, 2012. You can view a countdown here.

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