NASA's Curiosity Rover to Touchdown on Mars on August 5th

Posted on May 6, 2012

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, carrying the one-ton Curiosity rover, will touchdown on Mars late on the evening of August 5, 2012 PDT. The time will be early in the a.m. EDT. Curiosity will begin a two-year prime mission after making landfall. Curiosity's landing site is near the base of a mountain inside Gale Crater, near the Martian equator. Researchers plan to use Curiosity to study layers in the mountain that hold evidence about wet environments of early Mars.

The image above is an artist's concept of the moment NASA's Curiosity rover touches down on the surface of Mars. You can read more about the entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase of the Mars Science Laboratory mission here.

"Every day is one day closer to the most challenging part of this mission," says Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Landing an SUV-sized vehicle next to the side of a mountain 85 million miles from home is always stimulating. Our engineering and science teams continue their preparations for that big day and the surface operations to follow."

You can get the latest update on Curiosity's position here and you can follow Curiosity on Twitter, @MarsCuriosity.

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