Mars Rover's "seven minutes of terror"
NASA planned one of the most complicated spacecraft landings ever attempted for the Curiosity rover's touchdown on August 6 at about 1:30 am. ET. The complex procedure involved the use of the largest supersonic parachute ever built and a "sky crane" to lower the rover onto the Martian surface. "If any one thing doesn't work just right," says one engineer, "it's game over!"