As of this writing, the Mars Science Laboratory is scheduled to make landfall in less than 19 days (clock countdown here). The Mars Science Laboratory, nicknamed Curiosity, is one of the biggest rovers to go to Mars, measuring at 10 feet long (often compared to a Mini-Cooper in size). Only the Viking Lander was comparable in size and that didn’t move or do anywhere near as much as Curiosity will.
Since Curiosity is a bit of a bear, it is going to be delivered in what we consider to be the coolest method of landing a roving Mars vehicle ever:
Look like fun? The lander will need to go from 13,000 mph to zero in under 7 minutes. Sound like real fun? Well if youhave an XBOX360 and XBOX account you can actually play a Curiosity landing game designed by NASA. It is free, just look up “Mars Rover Landing” on XBOX live. It even works with the Kinect.
Curiosity is full of equipment,that mast has a camera that covers a large portion of the spectrum, so it can see in Infrared and Ultraviolet. The camera has several filters and modes to get the best imaging. Curiosity also carries a Spectrometer, Robot Arms (with cameras), Sample analysis equipment, and much more.
Curiosity is scheduled to land on August 5th or 6th depending on your position on the planet.