Tonight is the night that man-kind takes another giant leap into the history books, and attempts to land the Curiosity rover on Mars. If successful, the team will have accomplished what NASA feels is our greatest space exploration accomplishment ever.

But in order to know if we’ve been successful in our goals, the rover needs to communicate with NASA on Earth. This communication takes approximately 14 minutes to reach us from that distance, and during the second half to the rover’s decent, it won’t be able to communicate with us directly at all.

There are a lot of things that have to happen in order for us to know what’s going on all those millions of miles away. The video above does a pretty great job at explaining what’s important, and what’s simply inconvenient for us.

SEE MORE: Live Coverage Of Curiosity’s Decent To Mars


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