NASA often refers to the event of landing a rover on Mars as the ‘seven minutes of terror’. (Check out the YouTube video uploaded by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, JPL.) There are many situational factors that can impact on a successful landing. The distance between Mars and Earth is millions of miles, and communication between the two planets takes close to 14 minutes. NASA has no control over variables present at the time of landing and can only watch with fear and hope as events unfold. So for NASA (and the viewing public), the ‘terror’ doesn’t end until the landing process is complete, and the rover is safely settled on the ground.