NASA braces for "7 minutes of terror" Mars plunge
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — Hurtling ever closer to Mars, NASA's most high-tech interplanetary rover prepared for the riskiest part of its journey: diving through the Martian atmosphere and pulling off a new landing routine.
Nerves will be on overdrive Sunday night as the Curiosity rover attempts a dizzying "seven minutes of terror" routine that ends with it being lowered by cables inside a massive crater if all goes according to script.
Hours before the 10:31 p.m. PDT planned touchdown, Curiosity was in excellent health and speeding toward the top of Mars' thin atmosphere.
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