August 5-6, 2012. NASA’s Curiosity rover is a 1-ton robot – about the mass of an SUV. It made an unprecedented landing on Mars at 10:31 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time on August 5, 2012 (5:31 UTC on August 6, 2012). The excellent video above shows how the risky maneuver kept rover team members in suspense for 7 fateful minutes.
Curiosity’s mission is to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms called microbes. You can keep track of what Curiosity is doing here and get the latest mission updates here.
Bottom line: NASA video describes the final 7 minutes of the Curiosity rover’s chilling descent to the surface of Mars on August 5-6, 2012.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.