Has there ever been life on Mars? We may be closer to finding out the answer to that question, with NASA’s latest mission to the Red Planet.
Its Curiosity rover is landing on the Red Planet, having travelled more than half a billion kilometers since its launch last November. When (or if) it lands Curiosity will carry out geological tests that may reveal whether Mars could have ever supported life forms. But will it land successfully? It needs to touch down on a small, precise parcel of land, first with the help of a parachute then with retro-propeller rockets, then with nylon ropes. A lot could go wrong, as has happened before in missions to Mars.