Now that is one funky Mars descent stage if there was one… the thrusters just hanging off this rather spindly modified-hex structure. Now I know NASA refers to this in another video as the Curiosity rover’s “jetpack” but that pic still gave me a jolt. Assuming the materials and arrangement actually pan out, it’s a departure from the squat configs of the mid 20th century. Food for thought.
100 Days and Counting to NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Landing
On April 27, (1:31 p.m. EDT), NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, carrying the one-ton Curiosity rover, will be within 100 days from its appointment with the Martian surface. At that moment, the mission has about 119 million miles (191 million kilometers) to go and is closing at a speed of 13,000 mph (21,000 kilometers per hour).