Mars Express marks the spot for Curiosity landing
3 August 2012
Credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)
Much like a treasure map branded with an ‘X’ to mark the site of buried bounty, NASA’s rover Curiosity will be targeting its very own ‘X’ inside Gale Crater, to seek out the signs of past water – and maybe even life – on the Red Planet.
Mars Express will play an important role in monitoring the spectacular delivery of Curiosity to the martian surface during the ‘seven minutes of terror’ that describe the entry, descent and landing of the car-sized rover.
But the ESA spacecraft has already provided information that led to refinements of the rover’s landing ellipse last month.