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The 'incredible' Mars video: A three-year journey in 3 minutes
A new time-lapse video answers a compelling question: What's it like to drive on Mars?
 
The shadow of the Mars rover is cast over the planet's flat terrain.
The shadow of the Mars rover is cast over the planet's flat terrain.
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The video: Until NASA launches its new nuclear-powered Mars rover, nicknamed Curiosity, later this year, images from Curiosity's predecessor will have to do. Maybe that's not such a bad thing. NASA just released a time-lapse video (watch it below) that chronicles the old Opportunity rover's three-year, 13-mile journey from the Red Planet's Victoria Crater to the Endeavor Crater. Opportunity sent back 309 images showing miles of sand drifts punctuated by a few areas of bedrock. The video even has a "soundtrack," capturing the vibrations of the rover as it moves, says NASA's Paolo Bellutta. "When the sound is louder, the rover was moving on bedrock. When the sound is softer, the rover was moving on sand." 

The reaction: While the video "gives you an idea of what it's like to drive on Mars," says The Huffington Post, it unfolds "very slowly." Well, that's because the rover only went a mere two inches per second, says the International Business Times. At least the view is "stunning." This may actually be "one of the most incredible motion pictures ever produced," says NBC News anchor Brian Williams. But be honest, "do those Martian sand dunes remind you a lot of the Jersey Shore?" See for yourself:

 

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