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August 19, 2012

POV Video: Curiosity Lander Package Final Descent to Mars Impact

The YouTube caption:

This video shows the final descent of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Descent Vehicle from Heat Shield Jettison through Touchdown as captured by the Mars Descent Imager that was provided by Malin Space Science Systems.
Raw, unprocessed images were used for this video.
Spacecraft UTC: Start: 5:15:21 - End: 5:18:11 -- 666 Frames
The video is playing at 4 frames per second, actual average rate of the MARDI Images is about 3.95 fps.

There are still 25 pre-landing Full-Resolution Frames that have yet to be downlinked by Curiosity. In the video, available thumbnail images were used.

Heat Shield Impact is at 1:38 in the Video.

MSL EDL Reconstruction: http://bit.ly/NecYFk
MARDI Still Imagery: http://bit.ly/OXmtsY
MSL Section with Mission Coverage and extensive background Information: http://bit.ly/msl101

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/MSSS
Video Compiled by Spaceflight101.com (Patrick Blau)


August 19, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink


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the best video i've ever seen from space - fantastic work!

Posted by: simon | Aug 22, 2012 4:28:50 PM

Yes, very good, sure to be better as time goes on, Everyone please click on the "Snorges tees" link Joe has at the upper right. Scroll to read some, they are cleaver!

Posted by: friskypainter | Aug 19, 2012 10:56:43 PM

So you mean to tell me that the most fantastic part of the landing, the cable lowering of the actual vehicle, was not filmed in full video?

My advice when you are trying to wow the common man/taxpayer with this stuff is to let us see the actual work you folks have done. Someone forgot about the marketing aspects.

I am in no way diminishing all the massive technology that is included in the rest of the mission but c'mon, you have to admit that the cable aspect would have blown people's minds if they could have witnessed it.

Guess we have to wait another 6-10 years for another landing.

Where is NASA's PR department?

Posted by: Tax Payer | Aug 19, 2012 8:13:09 PM

Wow, indeed. When they released the thumbnail version of the descent camera movie a day or two after landing, it was nice to see Mike Malin, principal MARDI investigator for JPL and president of Malin Space Science Systems, proudly introduce it at the press conference.

He said that he was either eleven or four years late in showing such footage depending on how you looked at it. In 2001, the MARDI camera built by MSSS was cancelled along with Mars Surveyor Lander; the next one they built was not turned on during Mars Phoenix's descent due to technical concerns about the spacecraft side of the interface.

That man has been waiting a long time for this. He's going to be grinning and handing out cigars and showing his baby's pictures for months, and rightly so.

Info on all the space camera systems built by the thirty people at MSSS can be found here:


Posted by: Mike Harney | Aug 19, 2012 2:31:20 PM

Obviously shot in a remote location in Nevada or Utah.

Posted by: Rex Hammock | Aug 19, 2012 2:18:21 PM

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