Mars rover landing
If all goes well, NASA scientists will spend the early morning hours of Aug. 6 watching over the landing of another rover on Mars. It's taken more than eight months for Curiosity to reach the Red Planet, but safely landing might be the hardest part. The newest Mars rover, which will join Opportunity on the nearby planet, will have to slow from 13,000 miles per hour to zero in under 7 minutes.
The world's best golfers tee off at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Course on Aug. 9 for the opening rounds of the PGA Championship. The major's normal scheduling date of early August will likely be put in quadrennial jeopardy beginning in 2016 when golf returns as an Olympic sport.
Men's basketball gold medal game
If the U.S. men's basketball team performs as most expect, it should be playing for a gold medal on Aug. 12. The men's basketball finale will close out the London games. At the closing ceremony, officials with the London 2012 games will pass the torch to officials heading up Rio de Janeiro's efforts in 2016.
Puerto Rican vote
Puerto Rico will hold a status referendum on Aug. 12 in which voters could decide to ask for statehood, complete independence, or a continuation of territorial status under the United States flag. Voters narrowly rejected statehood in a 1998 referendum, but this time could be different. Puerto Rico's governor, Republican Luis Fortuño, supports the measure. If the Caribbean island votes for statehood, lawmakers in Washington would have to clear the way before statehood could occur.
Kenya voting exercise
In an attempt to avoid the violence of the 2007 Kenyan presidential elections, the African nation will conduct a massive new voter registration exercise on Aug. 15. The exercise, which will target some 19 million Kenyans, is part of the nation's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission's attempt to smooth out the voting process. An estimated 800 were killed in the violence that followed the widely disputed 2007 election.