On Aug. 6, 2012, NASA's Curiosity rover successfully touched down on the Martian surface. Curiosity is NASA's biggest and most ambitious Mars rover ever launched. [‘On This Day in Space’ Video Series on Space.com](https://www.space.com/39251-on-this-day-in-space.html) Its landing involved a new kind of maneuver that had never been tried before using something called a "sky crane." Like previous rovers that have landed on Mars, Curiosity used a parachute and rocket engines to slow down. But while other rovers used airbags to cushion the last part of the fall, Curiosity's rocket-propelled sky crane hovered over the ground and gently lowered it with cables.