Here is insightful (and incredible) video that explains how the latest Mars rover landed. Keep in mind that less than ten years ago, we had to use airbags to land our contraptions. The latest method is truly a testament to human ingenuity.
(the old way)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oelEv5IoG7M (the new way)
This three minute video takes us through a journey that consisted of 5 years, 3 months and 27 days on the planet of Mars.
The video was taken from the Mars rover Spirit, which explored and videoed all aspects of the Red Planet. We see 4.8 miles of rocks, hills and soil, which became an adversary of Spirit’s when the rover got trapped in it.
The video is a compilation of almost 3,500 images taken with the rovers front-right camera.
In the first video, you see it played at 24 frames per second.
Another version of the video, shot at 6 frames per second.