Largest vehicle we are planning on sending to the Red Planet yet. Curiosity’s revolutionary landing system may be the step we need to one day have somebody from our own Blue Planet settle on Mars. Rather than the rover being couched in an airbag deployed shell which looses energy gradually by bouncing across the Martian surface on landing, curiosity will have retro rockets that essentially suspend the unit above the surface until deployed at a safe velocity. Curiosity is simply too large to land with the traditional inflate and bounce system.
Our own Globe and Mail puts it even more eloquently ;). Check out the article below: