The NASA Mars rover mission continues to churn out drama made for TV. It has already delivered seven minutes of terror with the landing, propelled the mohawked geek dreamboy Bobak Ferdowsi to the pinnacle of fame, (the Not My Job quiz on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me) and it could reignite interest in the space program.
If that happens, it will be because of the images. We loved to watch the blue-shirted scientists leaping with joy trading charmingly awkward high-fives after the successful landing, but now we're wowed by high definition video of Mars itself.
Here are two videos of the descent of Curiosity onto the surface of the Mars. Watch them all the way through. In the one above, you can see what look like clouds around 40 seconds in as the rover lands in a crater on Mars. Turn on HD and make it full screen for the full effect. It's like parachuting onto the red planet through your screen.
The second video keeps the heat shield in the frame so it's a bit less shaky and feels a more like NASA dropped a frisbee into a pile of orange sand from a jet plane.