Before Curiosity can further explore, it must first stick the landing.
Weighing nearly 2,000 pounds, it is much heavier than Opportunity and can't bounce to a stop swaddled in air bags; it would break apart if it did. So engineers devised a new trick. Sunday will be the first time that the novel landing routine will make its debut.
Engineer Steve Sell said his eyes will be glued to his computer screen on landing day.
"I just have to keep reminding myself to keep breathing," Sell said.
Follow Alicia Chang's Mars coverage at: http://www.twitter.com/SciWriAlicia
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