3 Dec 2011: In my blog reviewing the Siemens NX CAE Meeting I mentioned a conversation I had with Kendra Short of JPL about how the rover will land on Mars. Today I found this picture simulating how this will be accomplished. I thought you night appreciate the engineering embodied in the MSL to accomplish this.
The platform holding the rover is called a Sky Crane. It first will need to separate from the spacecraft after it reaches Mars orbit. We will know more in about 8 months from now, when the landing is scheduled.
You can learn more at http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/