Landing robots on Mars is wild. Something they mention in passing is that the flying saucer landing capsule uses itself as an airplane wing to steer to the landing site (at least Curiosity did this, doing little S curves to adjust distance)

In her Curiosity book, Emily Lakdawalla describes Curiosity as "the most challenging Mars atmospheric entry in history" because of the rover's size and the precision of the landing area, and now Percy's like "hold my beer"

Also the animation in this is beautiful and I love how they could use the actual data of the landing area (I never get that in ocean stuff, slightly jealous)

Reminder that we can solve and fund any engineering problem we need to, whether it's landing gently on Mars or the logistics of medical supplies or resilient power grids. Not doing so is a choice

Animation of heat shield jettison vs. actual picture of heat shield jettison

I was wondering about the different terrain. It looks like the animation shows the vehicle over the landing site looking down. In the actual video the vehicle is still moving forwards and looking at an angle

youtu.be/4czjS9h4Fpg

Here's a frame from a minute later in the actual video after it slows on parachute and points down. You can see the same landmarks visible in the animation

Anyways, this is what I love about seeing actual data. Things always behave at least a little different than you expect.

But I'm still not over how cool it is they had such detailed maps to show in the preview animation

Most of my data looks like this. In small patches, 100m resolution, false color. But otherwise the landscapes are very similar

Sign in to participate in the conversation
馃 鈽曪笍 Squid Cafe

Below the thunders of the upper deep,
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the lumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.
鈥 "The Kraken" by Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1830