You’ve seen the $2.5 billion Mars rover Curiosity flawlessly land on the Red Planet. But you haven’t seen it like this.
Folks, this is not your grandparent’s moon landing video. Grainy, it’s not. Instead, we’ve got full-resolution images, courtesy of the Mars descent imager that cataloged the landing from the jettison of the heat shield until touchdown.
It’s the geek equivalent of a victory lap. The high-resolution images from NASA form this unofficial video made by visual effects producer Daniel Luke Fitch of the rover’s landing. The highlight reel of high-definition images has captured the public’s attention, with more than 500,000 views online so far.
In the hi-res video, the supersharp images show first the heat shield being jettisoned. Then Curiosity hovers over the planet, and you get a window seat as the surface of Mars grows larger as the craft nears the planet. Finally the rover sets down in the Gale Crater, creating a cloud of Martian dust.