Land Curiosity with Kinect for the Xbox 360 in NASA's...

Land Curiosity with Kinect for the Xbox 360 in NASA's "Mars Rover Landing," available free on Xbox Live. Credit: NASA

The search for life on Mars continues after NASA successfully threw a touchdown pass from Earth across the stars and onto Martian soil early Monday, ending an extremely complex 36-week flight. The climactic ending to a 352-million-mile journey is profound proof that despite the retirement of the shuttle after its final flight in July 2011, NASA's leadership in space exploration continues to make the impossible a reality.

Although this is not the first rover to reach the red planet, Curiosity is NASA's largest and most advanced, and is now beginning a two-year investigation aimed at compiling data that will open the doors to new planetary voyages, both robotic and eventually human.

But before another giant leap for mankind can be made, NASA and Microsoft released one small step for gamers. "Mars Rover Landing" is a free downloadable game on Xbox Live that uses body motions and Kinect for the Xbox 360 to simulate the "seven minutes of terror" landing sequence. Luckily, NASA did better than we did…

Though it's comical to imagine NASA actually using the Kinect to land on Mars, the game power by Unreal Technology offers a lip-biting representation of  what the team really had to go through that day. Packed with photos and information about the project, the game is a fun opportunity for the whole family to be a part of our continued space exploration efforts. Download the game today and see if you, too, can land Curiosity on Mars.  

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