The Curiosity Rover is the latest in a sequence of such rovers launched in recent years by NASA. A video of the simulated descent scenario can be seen at the following link to the BBC News Science website, and is well worth a look: http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/science-environment-18933037 . The video is a snatch from a recent BBC Horizon programme about the Curiosity Rover. The link will expire at some point, so apologies to readers who miss it. The technique used in the landing sequence has never been used before, so the engineers and scientists at NASA's JPL will truely be holding their breath in the early hours of Monday morning.
The Curiosity Rover is the most ambitious in NASA's Mars rover program. With a mass of 900 kg, it stands 2.2 m high, and is 3 m long. It is expected to operate for a period of 23 months on the Martian surface, performing various scientific tasks. It has been equipped to search for signs of life - not 'little green men', but forms of life referred to as 'extremophiles' - micro-organisms that thrive in extreme physical conditions, such as those found on Mars. The pictures below give an idea of the what Curiosity looks like, and the scale of the rover.