July 31, 2012
Star Trek Stars William Shatner and Wil Wheaton Narrate Mars Curiosity Videos
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Star Trek actors make a voice-over appearance in the latest NASA videos, sharing the story of the space agency's newest Martian rover.
William Shatner and Wil Wheaton provide their own unique narration of the videos, educating the public about the landing taking place at 10:31 p.m. PDT on August 5.
According to NASA, having the Star Trek icons being featured in the video will allow for a wider range of audiences to be reached.
"Shatner and Wheaton are mavericks in inspiring film, TV and social media audiences about space," Bert Ulrich, NASA's multimedia liaison for film and TV collaborations, said in a press release. "NASA is thrilled to have them explain a difficult landing sequence in accessible terms that can be understood by many. Thanks to their generous support, Mars exploration will reach Tweeters, Trekkies and beyond!"
Curiosity successfully took off in November 2011, and is still in route, making a 352 million mile trek towards the Red Planet.
The Mars Science Laboratory has just seven minutes to go from 13,000 mph to about a 1.7 mph soft landing.
"If a single step is unsuccessful, the mission could fail," NASA said in a press release.
The landing process has been dubbed "seven minutes of terror," and Microsoft has even created its own game for users to play and experience what landing the spacecraft is like.
During the videos, they illustrate exactly what the spacecraft will be doing as it makes it way towards the Martian surface. In a dramatic fashion, they paint a picture of what Curiosity will be experiencing as it glides towards Gale Crater.
Both of the videos have the same content, but feature their own twists in narration as they read through the script.
Stay tuned to redOrbit to keep up with what is happening as Curiosity inches closer to Mars, in preparation for a new mission.