Mars rover prepares to land

11:04 AM, Aug 6, 2012   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: PHOTOS | NASA's Curiosity rover lands on Mars
A NASA animation of the Mars rover exploration

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA is preparing for what the head of its Mars exploration program calls the "Super Bowl of planetary exploration."

A high-tech rover is closing in on Mars, where early Monday morning it will attempt a tricky new landing technique. 

If all goes as planned, the rover Curiosity will hit the top of the Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph, use its brakes and a parachute to slow it down, then lower itself by cables into a massive crater.

Landing is scheduled for 1:30a.m. Monday (EST).

For more on the NASA Mars mission, click here.

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