Still haven’t recovered from the sheer awesomeness of the Curiosity rover’s successful landing on the Red Planet? Don’t worry, neither have we. But let’s face the facts: NASA’s previous footage of the rover’s August 6 landing? Hardly theatrical. The stop-motion moving pictures condensed into a 2-inch-wide viewing area made it feel like we were back in 1923. We understand it might be a bit tricky to get video from 350 million miles away, but still, this is the 21st century.
It turns out our frustration was for naught. NASA has upped its game, releasing new high-definition footage that allows us to plummet to the craggy surface of Mars just as Curiosity saw it. Except we can do it from the comfort of our own desk chairs. Feel the rush of those “seven minutes of terror” from Curiosity’s own eyes.
It’ll leave your head spinning, like an IMAX film. But this isn’t a simulation. This involves no digital guesswork. This is the real, high-definition deal. According to the video’s description, the MARDI descent imager took the full-resolution footage, which was released Wednesday — more than two weeks after Curiosity touched down.