This is an exciting first for a robotic mission! NASA thought ahead of time about something — without a ton of scientific purpose — that ordinary folks might find very cool. The Curiosity rover shot HD footage of its landing on Mars a few weeks ago.
From the heatshield dropping off to the dust being stirred up by the landing, we can see the entire process (looking down from the bottom of the lander, that is). As a guy who edits video regularly, I would love to have a second camera to cut to — imagine seeing that massive parachute unfurl, or the sky crane fly away after lowering the rover to the surface. Oh, well…
If you want to see a CG visualization, NASA produced an awesome video about the Curiosity landing called “Seven Minutes of Terror”. But, even without the Hollywood-style glitz, this is awesome. It reminds of the film footage of various Apollo LEM’s landing on the Moon (and that’s a good memory).
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