NASA’s new Mars rover, Curiosity, landed on Mars not long ago.
This video starts with Curiosity’s heat shield being jettisoned from its landing stage body — comprised of the rover tucked up beneath a UFO-like platform. The rover hovers for a while under its parachute, wobbling back and forth as it takes in the spectacular view of craters and the lower reaches of Mount Sharp, its eventual target. Vertigo kicks in as the rover dives lower and the engines kick in for Curiosity’s powered descent sequence.
The heat shield impacts in the lower left frame at 0:21, and is shown enlarged at the end of the video.
To see some incredible images of Curiosity’s tracks, which tells scientists that the soil is firm, great for mobility, and won’t cause the rover to sink much go here.