August 24, 2012
High Definition Video Of Curiosity’s Descent On Mars
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe OnlineNASA posted a high-resolution video of its Curiosity rover as it descended towards the Mars surface during its "seven minutes of terror."
The high resolution video starts recording the descent once the heat shield was jettisoned from the rover, exposing it to the Red Planet's surface for the first time.
The movie is composed of multiple high resolution images its Mars Descent Imager was taking during the last two-and-a-half minutes of flight.
NASA controllers' chatter can be heard during the video, adding a dramatic touch to what it felt like as Curiosity made its way to the ground, and touched down for the first time.
Towards the end of the video, the surface of the ground gets closer and closer, until right when rocks can clearly be depicted and the blasts from SkyCrane's rockets begin to churn up dust.
Since landing on the Red Planet, Curiosity has been put through tests to ensure all equipment is functioning normally before the it begins its two-year primary mission of searching for signs of ancient extraterrestrial life.
Curiosity drove out a little ways from its landing spot, and then returned back to the same location, snapping photos of the tracks it made in the dirt on Mars. NASA released a 23 full-resolution panoramic image of the drive.
The space agency keeps getting loads of new data and images from Curiosity, so keep track with the latest big happenings on the Red Planet here on redOrbit.