How NASA's Curiosity Rover Will Land

Chris Higgins

In just three weeks, NASA's Curiosity rover will land on Mars...except that the "landing" is more like controlled crashing. In this dramatic video, engineers explain how the landing is supposed to go. It involves a supersonic parachute, last-minute radar measurements, and rocket motors. You can bet that come August 5, we'll be freaking out until we get the first "I'm alive" ping from the rover.

You can follow @MarsCuriosity on Twitter. And if you're curious about what the rover actually does, check out this rather long lecture (jump to 3 minutes in for the good stuff):

JPL also has a great Curiosity website.