NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, also known as the Curiosity Mars rover, is a huge six-wheeled robot the size of a small car. The nuclear-powered rover won't land using rockets or airbags like past Mars missions. Instead, NASA has built a rocket-propelled sky crane that will hover over the Martian surface and lower the $2.5 billion rover to the Red Planet's surface.
Learn all about how the Mars rover's landing will work in the SPACE.com infographic above, then check out the following Mars rover mission features.
- Mars Rover Curiosity: Mars Science Lab Coverage
- Photos: How Curiosity's Nail-Biting Landing Works
- 7 Minutes of Terror: Curiosity Rover's Risky Mars Landing | Video
- Mars Explored: Landers and Rovers Since 1971 (Infographic)