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Curiosity Rover gets practice time before Mars landing

We’ve still got a little over a hundred days before Mars Science Laboratory tries not to smash itself into a million bits while landing on Mars, but the rover’s stunt double (and its human slaves) are hard at work practicing their moves in preparation for August 6th, when Curiosity will make its thrilling touchdown at Gale Crater.

The crazy (seriously, crazy) sky-crane landing seems like it has to be by far the most dangerous part of the entire mission. While it’s more or less up to the rover itself to do all the tricky bits (since, among other reasons, there’s a time delay that precludes direct control by human operators), that doesn’t mean that all of the engineers at JPL will be sitting back eating peanuts. 
via IEEE Spectrum

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