How Things Work: Dropping in on Mars
NASA's Curiosity rover will try a new way of landing on another planet.
- By Tony Reichhardt
- Illustrations by Harry Whitver
- Air & Space magazine, January 2012
2. Backshell Separation
Using radar to sense its distance from the surface, the descent stage — with the rover tucked underneath — separates from its parachute and protective backshell. Altitude: 5,900 feet.