Mars Rover Sends Back First Video

Curiosity captures landing, images of Martian surface
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2012 3:22 AM CDT
Updated Aug 7, 2012 7:52 AM CDT

NASA has released a rover's-eye view of Curiosity's nail-biting landing on Mars yesterday. The video, which captures a minute of what engineers described as "seven minutes of terror," begins as the rover's heat shield falls away, and ends with dust being kicked up as Curiosity descends into the Martian crater it will spend years exploring, Wired reports. NASA says the low-resolution video will be followed by a high-resolution one, along with color photos and panoramas.

Curiosity has already sent back two stunning high-resolution photos, including one of Mount Sharp, a three-mile-high mountain in the center of the crater which is its chief scientific target. NASA says the photos show that the rover has a clear path to explore in any direction, and it will begin doing so within days. At the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, fatigue is beginning to set in among the scientists and engineers who were celebrating wildly yesterday, notes NPR's Joe Palca. They are working on Martian time, with days 24 hours and 39 minutes long, which has left them with "a case of non–stop jetlag," he writes. (More NASA stories.)

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