Washington – The National Geographic Channel (NGC) will premiere Martian Mega Rover on August 9, just three days after the historic touchdown of the Mars Science Laboratory (a.k.a. Curiousity rover). The hour-long special includes detailed animation that breaks down each phase of the landing like a scene out of a blockbuster sci-fi movie.

Created by Dan Maas, the acclaimed animator behind the IMAX “Roving Mars” and NGC’s Emmy winner Five Years on Mars, vivid photorealistic CGI simulates Curiosity’s entry into the atmosphere as a massive parachute deploys, rocket thrusters fire up and a sky crane safely lowers the rover to the ground.

At 1:24 a.m. on August 6 in the U.S., the rover is scheduled to hit the top of the Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph. Seven minutes later, the world will know whether it landed safely or punched a new crater in the surface of Mars.