From the October 2012 issue

Watch the Curiosity rover in action

These videos show off some of the Mars Science Laboratory team's greatest trials and tribulations.
By | Published: October 29, 2012 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
The Curiosity rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) located on its arm one month after arriving on the Red Planet to obtain this self-portrait. // Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
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.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech