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Curiosity’s High-Definition Perspective of its Descent Onto Mars

Bask in the high-definition timelapse images captured by Curiosity as it landed on Mars

smithsonian.com


One of the first marvels to reach human eyes after the descent of the Curiosity rover into the thin Martian atmosphere two weeks ago was a timelapse that put together images captured by the rover’s own cameras. That original timelapse was made of low resolution pictures beamed back quickly from surface. Now the high-definition versions of those images have made it back to Earth, yielding the gloriously crisp video above.

Watch for the 20 second mark where you can see Curiosity’s heat shield, ejected at the beginning of the video, smack into the Martian surface. And, at the 32 second mark, the blast of the the Sky Crane’s rockets clearing the surface of dust.

The video spans the “Heat Shield Separation” to the final Sky Crane stages. Photo: NASA

 

More from Smithsonian.com:
Everything You Didn’t Know You Needed to Know About the Curiosity Rover
Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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