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Amazing Footage of Curiosity Rover’s Landing on Mars Surfaces

Call us nerds, but we’ve been excitedly following the progress of the Curiosity rover ever since it made a dangerous landing on the surface of Mars on August 6th. And now comes this amazing footage of its descent courtesy of a camera mounted on the side of the rover itself. We’re in geek heaven.

The rover first jettisons its heat shield, which falls to the surface of the Red Planet and leaves a plume of dust after impact. Then, the car-sized rover begins a breakneck descent at 1,900 feet per second as it hurtles toward the Martian landscape.

The one-ton machine uses a parachute and retro rockets to slow its fall as it aims for touchdown in Gale Crater. In the final stage, the $2.5 billion rover hovers while a sky crane carefully lowers it to the planet’s surface. It’s all done with remarkable precision. But, unfortunately, Mickey Mouse-shaped craters are nowhere in sight.

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