Curiosity descending to Mars
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Curiosity rover's journey to Mars

Nasa is set to launch its biggest ever robotic rover to Mars to learn if the planet is, or has been, suitable for life.

Curiosity - also called the Mars Science Laboratory - will be lowered on to Mars using cutting edge technology.

At 900kg it is too heavy for the airbags employed to cushion landings on previous Mars missions.

Instead, the rocket-powered sky crane will gently lower the rover to the surface using tethers.

This animation shows Curiosity's journey to Mars and its arrival on the Red Planet.

Video courtesy of Nasa.

  • 25 Nov 2011