In August this year, the rover Curiosity will be landing on the surface of Mars, if everything goes according to plan. Curiosity weighs as much as 900 kilos,  including 80 kilos of scientific instruments. It is the size of a small car, 2.8 meters long, and can reach a top speed of 90 meters per hour.

The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, launched Nov. 26, 2011, will deliver Curiosity to the surface of Mars on the evening of Aug. 5, 2012, PDT (early on Aug. 6, Universal Time and EDT) to begin a two-year prime mission. 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.

This spectacular video from NASA, called “Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror”, shows how the landing of Curiosity will take place:

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