MOUNTAIN VIEW (KCBS) – NASA is relying on social media and a Hollywood-style video on YouTube to promote its upcoming landing of a spacecraft on Mars.

The video titled “7 Minutes of Terror” describes in dramatic fashion next month’s landing of the Mars rover Curiosity on the surface of the red planet.

“Going 13,000 miles an hour to zero in perfect sequence, perfect choreography, perfect timing and the computer has to do it all by itself,” said Tom Rivellini, an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The five-minute video has already been viewed more than 500,000 times on YouTube as of Thursday, a rare social media success for NASA.

Keith Cowing, editor of, said the space agency is not only promoting the Mars landing, but also warning people not to get their hopes up.

“If it crashes, they’re trying to set the ground in place so that people will understand why that might have happened,” he said.

Curiosity is scheduled to land on the night of August 5.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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