The video: NASA has produced an animated video explaining how it will send the 'Curiosity' rover to Mars. The five-minute clip shows a NASA spacecraft falling through the atmosphere of the Red Planet, and a floating crane depositing the 3-meter rover onto Mars' rocky surface. (See it for yourself below.) The video is meant to reflect the "dynamic, violent nature of landing on another planet," says Doug Ellison, a member of the animation team. Curiosity is expected to touch down on Mars in August 2012. It will take samples and atmospheric readings from the Martian soil, and attempt to answer the question: Is there life on Mars?
The reaction: This "incredible video" makes the landing look "so awesome," says Annalee Newitz at IO9. So "we're willing to forgive the fact that it includes SWOOSH noises that you'd never hear in space." But next August we'll get the real thing, says Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo, given that this rover will be "equipped with the highest resolution cameras ever deployed in the Red Planet." If you think this is "high definition planet porn," you ain't seen nothing yet. Watch how the rover will land here:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- Hey, Paul Ryan's new poverty plan isn't completely terrible!
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- The secret to Gabrielle Hamilton's amazing grilled cheese sandwiches
- Deficit scolds are the most crazed ideologues in America
- The disturbing lessons of Arizona's un-American execution
- 7 language habits that reveal your age
Subscribe to the Week