I have to say I’m impressed. When I first saw the landing procedure intended for the lander Curiosity headed for Gale crater on Mars I was a bit skeptical. The extremely complicated landing sequence employed for the Curiosity mission seemed like asking for trouble, given that Nasa has a bit of a spotty record when it comes to delivering hardware to Mars.
The curiosity lander was to be lowered to the surface of mars on wires suspended from a delivery vehicle autonomously balancing on thrusters. Some may remember the Mars Climate Orbiter Metric vs. English unit mixup so a bit of scepticism didn’t seem to be misplaced. The more points of potential failure you add would seem to increase the odds of something unforeseen ruining the party.
As it turned out the landing went of without a hitch. Big kudos to everyone involved in this project who accomplished something truly amazing.