NASA’s high-tech robot space probe is due to land on Mars shortly.
Curiosity, as its called, is nearing the end of an eight-month 560km odyssey to reach the red planet.
It has been travelling at 13000km an hour on a near-perfect trajectory but once it enters Mars’ atmosphere that will shoot up to 21000 km for what is described at the “7 minutes of terror”.
“If we are successful getting to the ground, we are going to have the opportunity for untold discoveries”, said Mars Exploration Program Director, Doug McCuiston. “This location in Gale Crater is absolutely amazing, a place we could have never thought of getting to just a few years ago”.
The probe will spend almost two years on Mars gathering information to help establish whether or the planet has ever supported any kind of life.
The cost of the mission is 2.5bn dollars, much of that spent on equipping Curiosity with the most advanced technology ever sent to another planet.
The landing will be broadcast live on the NASA website at 5.30am GMT + 2 hours