Curiosity’s “Crazy” Landing

“When people look at it, it looks crazy. It’s a very natural thing. Sometimes when we look at it it looks crazy. It is the result of reason, engineering, thought… but it still looks crazy.”

– Adam Steltzner, EDL Engineer

On August 5, after nearly 9 months of travel, Mars Science Laboratory (aka Curiosity) will arrive at Mars to explore the inside of Gale Crater and hunt for evidence of an ancient ocean. Of course, between arriving and hunting, there has to be a landing… and that’s where things are going to get a little wild.

MSL’s final descent to Mars will be “seven minutes of terror” for many engineers and scientists…

This excellent video shows what will happen on August 5 — as long as every single thing goes according to plan — and why the MSL team is so excited about the upcoming landing… if maybe just a teensy bit anxious.

Check it out, and you’ll see why it’s being called “7 minutes of terror”. (But… how cool!!!)

Read more about the MSL mission here, and see what the New York Times has to say about this video (and NASA’s other recent outreach programs) here.