The EDLS has three separate sub-systems.
The entry system comprises a front shield/aeroshell, a back cover/bioshield and release mechanisms. It protects the lander from contamination whilst on Earth, from the space environment during the six months to get to Mars and during entry into the martian atmosphere at a Mach 31.5 (over 12,000 miles/hour).
The descent system depends on a parachute deployment device (PDD), pilot chute, main parachute and main parachute release mechanism.
The lander is stabilised and decelerated during the descent phase. The landing system employs gas-filled bags to cushion the final impact after deceleration.