Seven Minutes of Terror
About this video
The longest seven minutes of a NASA engineer's career.
At approximately 10:24 PDT on 5 August 2012, NASA’s latest Mars Rover – Curiosity – will begin its descent to the Martian surface, taking just seven minutes from entry to touch down.
The landing procedure is an extremely complex process, reliant on the successful completion of numerous interdependent steps, including the deployment of a parachute and a skyhook to lower the rover safely to the ground.
However it takes 14 minutes for a transmission from Mars to reach Earth, meaning that when we get word of its descent, the rover will already have either completed its landing successfully or failed somewhere along the way. With no room for error – this is likely to be the longest seven minutes of a NASA engineers’ career.
This video from NASA's Jet Population Laboratory outlines the incredible landing procedure of the rover and captures the sheer terror NASA engineers will face as they await confirmation of a successful landing. The clock is ticking...
You can watch the landing 'live' on the NASA website.
- Collections with this video:
- Curiosity on Mars, Best of the Web - Top Ten
Licence: Standard YouTube License