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
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- The myth of the stay-at-home dad
Subscribe to the Week