Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars on August 6, 2012. Live coverage is available online beginning August 5, 2012, 10:30pm PDT. The rover’s mission is to learn whether Mars ever has or is still able to support microbial life.
The rover Opportunity is in its ninth year! Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004 and found evidence of a past wet environment. Opportunity has exceeded all expectations by continuing beyond its original several month mission.
One of the challenges rovers face on Mars is just getting there. Entry and landing must occur within six minutes, within which time the spacecraft must slow down from 12,000 mph to zero.