NASA's Mars rover readies for a rough landing

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NASA's Mars rover readies for a rough landing

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NASA has been giving details about its latest mission to Mars.

Its new rover, nicknamed Curiosity, is scheduled to land on August 6, but a successful touchdown into Gale Crater, an area near the Red planet’s equator, is far from guaranteed. Even if the rover does land safely, managers may not know for hours.

Mars Programme Director, Doug McCuistion said: “Landing on Mars is always risky. The planet always throws things at you. Dust storms, atmospheric density changes, wind. So it’s a very unique and a very challenging environment.”

Previous orbiters, landers and rovers have turned up solid evidence of water, and the goal of the two year mission is to asses whether the Gale Crater had all the ingredients at the right time and in the right places for microbial life to arise and be preserved.