Aug. 06, 2012 — JPL's Steve Collins, Curiosity's attitude control subsystem engineer, waits during the "Seven Minutes of Terror", as the rover approaches the surface of Mars, inside the Spaceflight Operations Facility for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover at Jet Propulsion Laboratory
During the seven minutes, the control room is silent with occasional applause as a successful deployment of one of the decent stages was successful.
Discovery News Space Producer Ian O'Neill, who was in JPL's newsroom at the time watched the live feed from the neighboring building, said: "The atmosphere was electric. For the first time for the whole day, you could hear a pin drop."
The MSL Rover named Curiosity is equipped with a nuclear-powered lab capable of vaporizing rocks and ingesting soil, measuring habitability, and whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small microbial lifeforms.