(Phys.org) -- As NASA prepares for next week's Curiosity rover landing on Mars, William Shatner and Wil Wheaton share this thrilling story of NASA's hardest planetary science mission to date. The video titled, "Grand Entrance," guides viewers from entry through descent, and after landing.
The video will be used at events around the country and shared on the web and social media. The goal is to educate the public about Curiosity and build awareness about the landing at 1:31 a.m. EDT, Aug. 6.
Shatner and Wheaton each provide their own unique narration to the video allowing a wider range of audiences to be reached. The actors are icons to sci-fi fans worldwide through their work on Star Trek. Shatner remains a pop culture phenomenon with more than 50 years of stage, television and film experience, while Wheaton not only is a successful actor, but a writer who possesses a huge social media fan base.
"Shatner and Wheaton are mavericks in inspiring film, TV and social media audiences about space," said Bert Ulrich, NASA's multimedia liaison for film and TV collaborations. "NASA is thrilled to have them explain a difficult landing sequence in accessible terms that can be understood by many. Thanks to their generous support, Mars exploration will reach Tweeters, Trekkies and beyond!"
After a successful launch in November 2011, Curiosity is close to reaching its destination on the Martian surface. However, the process from entering the atmosphere to landing safely is no easy task. Curiosity has seven minutes to go from 13,000 mph to a soft landing. If a single step is unsuccessful, the mission could fail. This process has been dubbed as the "seven minutes of terror."
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