New NASA video captures drama of Mars landing

Aug 23, 2012
In this frame of a high definition stop motion video taken during the NASA rover Mars landing and provided by the space agency on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, the heat shield falls away during Curiosity's descent to the surface of Mars on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. Curiosity is the first spacecraft to record a landing on another planet. The six-wheel rover arrived on Aug. 5 to begin a two-year mission to examine whether the Martian environment was hospitable for microbial life. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

(AP)—Viewers can now relive the drama of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars with a new NASA video detailing the final moments of touchdown.

The space agency Thursday posted the video on its website embedded with audio from mission control. It starts with the heat shield falling away. The ground grows larger in view as Curiosity is lowered by cables inside an ancient Martian crater. "Touchdown confirmed" is heard followed by cheers.

Curiosity is the first spacecraft to record a landing on another planet. The six-wheel rover arrived on Aug. 5 to begin a two-year mission to examine whether the Martian environment was hospitable for microbial life.

NASA previously released a low-quality video of Curiosity's landing. The latest video is higher quality, but it's incomplete and missing several frames.

Explore further: Sticky end for sex geckos sent into space by Russia

4.1 /5 (8 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA's mega-rover landed on Mars. What's next?

Aug 12, 2012

(AP) — After a spectacular landing on Mars, the rover Curiosity wasted no time embracing its inner shutterbug, delighting scientists with vistas of Gale Crater complete with sand dunes, mountain views ...

Mars rover Curiosity beams back images showing its descent

Aug 07, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Earlier today, just hours after NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars, a select group of images taken by the onboard Mars Descent Imager, or MARDI, were beamed back to Earth. The 297 color, low-resolution ...

Anxiety over rover's Hollywood-style Mars landing

Aug 03, 2012

Seven minutes of terror. It sounds like a Hollywood thriller, but the phrase describes the anxiety NASA is expecting as its car-sized robotic rover tries a tricky landing on Mars late Sunday.

Mojave Desert tests prepare for NASA Mars Roving

May 14, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Team members of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission took a test rover to Dumont Dunes in California's Mojave Desert this week to improve knowledge of the best way to operate a similar rover, ...

Next Mars rover nears completion

Apr 07, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Assembly and testing of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is far enough along that the mission's rover, Curiosity, looks very much as it will when it is investigating Mars.

Recommended for you

Caterpillar comet poses for pictures en route to Mars

9 hours ago

Now that's pure gorgeous. As Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring sidles towards its October 19th encounter with Mars, it's passing a trio of sumptuous deep sky objects near the south celestial pole this week. ...

Hoisting a telescope with helium

9 hours ago

Many a child has forgotten to hold tight to the string of a helium balloon only to have it escape and rise until it disappeared in the glare of the sun. Helium balloons want to rise, but launching a balloon ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Kafpauzo
5 / 5 (4) Aug 23, 2012
Here's the video:

http://www.nasa.g...50964561

The link is missing in the current version of the article. I'm sure this will be repaired, but here's the link for everyone who wants to enjoy the ride down to Mars right away.

It's quite an experience! We get to become passengers on Curiosity!

The heat shield separates. For a while we swing mildly back and forth under the parachute. There's a very, very slow spin.

The backshell and parachute are abandoned. We drop precipitously for a couple of seconds. Powered flight starts. We veer toward the upper left. We stabilize.

We drop at an ever slower pace. Clouds of dust rise.

The ground below darkens. Then: "Tango Delta!": Our wheels touch down!

But everybody is still holding their breaths. Everybody is hoping that the sky crane won't crash down on top of us!

After another eight seconds: "UHF is strong!" This confirms that all is well!

We're safe on Mars!

Phew!
Kafpauzo
not rated yet Aug 23, 2012
When I wrote the above comment there was no video in the article.

But the version that I linked to has dramatically better picture quality than the article's version. The version that now sits in the article has gigantic pixels. It's the same video, but in an enormously downgraded version.

Weird! Why on Earth do they downgrade it?

In any case, I strongly suggest the linked video, for a much more enjoyable experience. Here's the same link again, so you don't have to scroll:

http://www.nasa.g...50964561