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Aug 5, 2012 7:20 PM by Alyse Rzemek

NASA rover readies for plummet through Mars atmosphere

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - 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 tonight 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.

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