7 Minutes of Terror
On August 6, 2012 NASA scientists held their collective breaths while a one-ton projectile hit the thin atmosphere of planet Mars carrying a scientific rover that while launched only that past November, had been the focus of their professional lives since 2004. They would not know for approximately 7 excruciating minutes if those years of dedication, hard work, and testing had been for naught. We now know that with a collective cheer, they realized their apprehension and fear was unwarranted as the Curiosity rover has been exploring the surface of Mars since that day and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Via futurity.org, this is the journey the rover took on those harrowing 7 minutes from first descent to touchdown on Mars: