How Things Work: Dropping in on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover will try a new way of landing on another planet

(Harry Whitver)

The Last Minute To Mars: Backshell Separation

Backshell Separation
(Harry Whitver)

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.


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