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:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How to live a long life, according to science
- Sorry, we will not all be having sex with robots in the future
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
Subscribe to the Week