New Mars Rover to Land Using Rocket Crane [VIDEO] Mashable

By the end of this year, a bigger and smarter rover will be on its way to Mars. Called Curiosity, NASA‘s six-wheel-drive, 9-foot-long robotic research vehicle will be delivered to the planet’s surface using the most unusual method yet, which you can see in the video above. Unlike its predecessors that landed on Mars inside huge balloons that bounced along the surface until they came to a halt, the heavier Curiosity will be suspended by a tether from a crane-like rocket platform that gently lowers the robot to the surface. Then that platform will fly away and crash elsewhere into the surface of the Red Planet while Curiosity gets its 687-Earth-day (1 Mars year) mission underway.