Emily LakdawallaAug 14, 2012

Video, sound, and timeline of Curiosity's descent

This is a fantastic video, produced by Brian Lynch by combining the thumbnail images from Curiosity's Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) with the audio from the control room during landing night and a detailed timeline from Patrick Blau's spaceflight101.com.

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It's a wonderful example of a member of the public combining technical information from numerous sources to produce an illustration of an exciting event -- something that happens all the time at unmannedspaceflight.com, where Brian posted it! This summer I gave a talk at both NASA Headquarters and the Applied Physics Laboratory about how missions really ought to sit up and take notice of the amazing illustration work being done by space enthusiasts with sophisticated technical skills and the ability to take raw, unprocessed data and use it to tell stories.

There was a Curiosity press briefing today; I probably won't get a writeup posted until tomorrow. In a nutshell, the rover's software upgrade is complete and they are "go" to continue with commissioning. This week, expect a Mastcam panorama that actually includes the top of the mountain, and expect to see the rover move for the first time, first by rotating its wheels in place and then by driving forward and backward a few meters. And HiRISE got a lovely color image of the rover on Sol 6. I need to go take that picture apart, pixel by pixel, and show you what I can see in it!

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