July 18th, 2012
10:03 AM ET

Photos: Exploring Mars

We are pumped for the landing of Curiosity, the biggest rover yet that NASA has sent to Mars. Curiosity is scheduled to land at 1:31 a.m. ET on August 6 (that's 10:31 p.m. PT on August 5).

No spacecraft has ever landed in this way before. The 2,000-pound rover, with a cost totaling around $2.5 billion, will use a "sky crane touchdown system" to get itself safely (we hope) to the Martian surface. This popular video "Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror" illustrates the process.

Curiosity will make its way to Gale Crater, which houses several miles of sediment for the rover to explore.

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  • Elizabeth Landau
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