Museum of Science and Industry

Where will you be August 5, 2012? I don't know about you, but my eyes will most likely be glued to NASA TV. That's the date that NASA's most recent Mars rover, aptly named Curiosity, will enter the Martian atmosphere.

The rover first has to travel 352 million miles to get to Mars. That's a piece of cake compared to what it has to do after that: enter the Martian atmosphere. Due to the rapid speed and high temperatures involved, only six out of the 11 Mars landing missions to date have successfully landed a craft. The whole process of landing takes about seven minutes, but I'm sure that for the engineers who built it and sent it, those will be the slowest minutes of their lives.

If Curiosity does in fact land properly, it will be able to do some really cool things, like analyze using a laser and taking 3-D pictures! It's slated to land in what NASA believes is a dry river bed, so hopefully we'll get some more insight as to whether or not there is water on Mars, or if there ever has been water on Mars.

So set your DVRs, folks, pop that popcorn, and get ready for a suspenseful seven minutes! August 5th will be here before you know it.

Image: Bob Sauls

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