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Dramatic video shows how new Mars rover will land using a sky crane

In Americas, Tech on April 9, 2011 at 3:38 am

By Rebecca Boyle

When parachutes and airbags won’t do the trick, you’ve got to land like a hovercraft, lowering precious cargo from a flying crane.

Check out this amazing new animation of NASA’s new Mars rover, the car-sized Mars Science Laboratory, on its harrowing journey to the red planet.

The rover, also called Curiosity, is too big to land bouncing along airbags a la its predecessors, Spirit and Opportunity. And Mars doesn’t have enough atmosphere for a parachute to slow it sufficiently. So engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory came up with this hybrid approach, involving a…

 

Original article…

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