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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Curiosity's seven minutes of terror

Filed under Mars

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The technologies needed to land on Mars are vastly different from those needed for the Moon. Curiosity, bundled up inside its protective descent shell, had a mass of 3.3 metric tons when it hit the Martian atmosphere in 2012. Human landings on Mars could easily tip the scales at more than 20 metric tons, requiring much more powerful EDL systems.


Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.


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