Curiosity landing on Mars

Saturday , 22, December 2012

The new NASA rover Curiosity landed successfully on Mars at 5:14:39 UTC. If you want to read a thorough engineering background of the landing please go here. Here I just want to list here the amazing images and video capturing the landing from different ‘angles’:

  1. The descent imager MARDI was turned on the moment the heat shield was released, exposing the rover to the Martian environment. MARDI is positioned at the bottom of the rover and the following sequence of images was beamed back to Earth:

    MARDI will continue making pictures during the mission as it is positioned 70 cm above the ground. That will be an amazing way for scientists to make a stratigraphic column. I remember when I did that the first time in Aliaga, Spain.
  2. The heatshield hits the surface of Mars:
  3. The HiRISE camera made the following amazing picture of the descent of the rover plus parachute, about 1 minute before landing:
    image
    The amazing thing is that HiRISE did it again! It also was able to catch the Phoenix lander plus parachute back in 2008.
  4. The whole landing sequence was rendered into a movie, including soundtrack. Looking back knowing that everything worked out perfectly is just mind boggling.

    The video found at the bottom of this page shows the same video but from a National Geographic documentary.

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