The successful August 6 landing of NASA’s latest Mars rover, Curiosity, was a great moment for planetary exploration and public excitement in space alike. Now safely exploring the geology within the Red Planet’s Gale Crater for signs of past habitability, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) has already gone through a tremendous amount on its interplanetary journey. I covered much of its story in “Curiosity’s first days on Mars,” but space limitations always make it hard to include everything.
Luckily, NASA, being the public-minded (and funded) agency it is, made sure to record and release some of the most exciting moments Curiosity’s faced. So, for the dedicated Mars-lovers out there, here are a few videos imparting just a bit more of what MSL has gone through, and what it has in store.
First, you can relive the suspense and triumph (in a more streamlined and dramatic sense) of the MSL’s actual landing on Mars.
And for a more behind-the-scenes look, here’s a video taken by the Curiosity rover itself, depicting the final 2.5 minutes of its descent.
And finally, in this recent MSL update, science team member Sanjeev Gupta describes one of the first major discoveries of the mission, round pebbles that suggest the rover’s treading upon an ancient martian streambed.