Will Mars Rover Landing Survive '7 Minutes of Terror'?

NASA scientists discuss sending high-tech spacecraft in mission to Red Planet.
3:00 | 08/05/12

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Transcript for Will Mars Rover Landing Survive '7 Minutes of Terror'?
in mars. Tonight's the night that nasa's rover makes the landing on mars. The final minutes will be nail biters for nasa. Here is clayton sandell. Reporter: After eight months in cold space, at the red planet, things are about to heat up. Nasa's mars skin laboratry is about to try a landing, going from 13,000 miles an hour to a full stop in seven minutes. It's all completely automatic in and like with every mission, today, superstitious engineers brought out the good luck peanuts. As far as the amount of control the team has in landing, it's identical to the control that anybody watching at home has. Reporter: If it all works, the curiosity rover will hit a hole in one inside a giant crater where the high temperature is 10 degrees. The next few year, zapping its way around a mountain looking for past or present life on mars. It allows us to reach out and touch the surface of another planet. Reporter: Tonight, nasa is keenly aware that the complex $2.5 billion mission has a high risk of failure. If it fail, we have to understand how it failed. Does it mean the end of a program? No, it means we have a set back. Reporter: Right now, we are inside mission control. Where tonight, the team will be holding its breath. The landing takes about seven minutes but the signal from mars to earth take about 14 minutes. For seven minutes, the team won't know whether the rover is alive or dead.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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