Curiosity’s descent stage reaches the Martian atmosphere.  Photo credit NASA/JPL

You think the title’s overly dramatic?

Wait till you hear the way, overly dramatic music playing behind NASA’s animated 5-minute video portrayal of the entry, descent and landing (EDL) of the Rover on Gale Crater.

It’s really a hoot to watch and listen to five genuine rocket scientists narrating what the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) must endure during its 7-minute descent.  In truth, the descent is violent and dangerous to the equipment.

Hats off to the brilliant men and women who designed the mission and can spoof their accomplishment as well as their very real fears about the success of the mission.

Enjoy these bold scientists who go where no serious actor would dare to overact.

For the best seat in the house, click on

A quick footnote—July 17, Discovery News reported that the scientists may have to wait a couple of hours for news of Curiosity’s landing because of a communication glitch.

A steering problem on Odyssey, the orbiting satellite that transmits information about the landing, may not be in position to record the landing on the orbit when Curiosity lands.

Unless the  problem is solved, we’ll have to bite our nails for a couple hours beyond the initial 7 Minutes of Terror till Odyssey is properly lined up.

Discovery News     June 27, 2012

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