This video released by NASA/JPL is highlighting the incredible engineering feat it will be to land the Curiosity Rover onto the surface of Mars. Because of Curiosity’s weight and size, the traditional “airbag” method isn’t going to cut it. Instead, Curiosity will be lowered gently to the surface of Mars via a rocket-propelled “skycrane”. It makes the landing even more complex and dangerous, and introduces a whole new level of risk into the landing. But once we get that SUV-sized rover crawling around the surface of Mars, all that risk will be totally worth it.
Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald