Curiosity’s Landing Video in Mind-Blowing HD

Curiosity’s heat shield falls to Mars

This is awesome! The full-resolution images taken by Curiosity’s Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) instrument have been downloaded and assembled into a high-def video of the rover’s descent and landing on Mars. From the heat shield falling away to the final, dust-blown touchdown in Gale Crater via sky crane, we finally get a good look at what Curiosity saw when it landed on Mars at 10:31 p.m. PDT on August 5, 2012. Enjoy!

(Can’t see the video above? Click here.)

All images via NASA/JPL-Caltech. Thanks to Fraser at Universe Today for posting this, and to visual effects editor Daniel Fitch for putting it all together.

UPDATE: Below is a version of the same footage except with the movement smoothed out (and sound effects added; there was no microphone on the EDL apparatus.) After touchdown a later panorama has been added as well as a “selfie” of the rover’s Mastcam units. Watch in 1080p full screen for maximum effect!