The US space agency (Nasa) has released an animation showing how its one-tonne Perseverance rover will land on Mars on 18 February.
The sequence of manoeuvres needed to land on Mars is often referred to as the "seven minutes of terror" - and with good reason.
With a distance on the day of 209 million km (130 million miles) between Earth and Mars, every moment and every movement you see in the animation has to be commanded by onboard computers. It starts more than 100km above Mars where the Perseverance rover will encounter the first wisps of atmosphere.
As the capsule plunges deeper into the Martian air, it gets super-hot at more than 1,000C - but at the same time, the drag slows the fall dramatically.By the time the supersonic parachute deploys from the backshell of the capsule, the velocity has already been reduced to 1,200km/h.
When Perseverance senses contact, it must immediately sever the cables or it will be dragged behind the crane as the cradle flies away to dispose of itself at a safe distance.The sequence looks much the same as was used to put Nasa's last rover, Curiosity, on the surface of Mars 12 years ago. However, the navigation tools have been improved to put Perseverance down in an even more precisely defined landing zone.
This means that when Nasa receives the message from Perseverance that it has engaged the top of the atmosphere, the mission will already have been dead or alive on planet's surface for several minutes. The robot will be recording its descent on camera and with microphones. The media files will be sent back to Earth after landing - assuming Perseverance survives.