|The HIRISE spacecraft photographed MSL as it was parachuting down to|
the Martian surface. Credit: NASA.
Mike Wall, from Space.com, describes what you will see in the video:
The high-definition video chronicles the final 2.5 minutes of Curiosity's 7-minute plunge through the Martian atmosphere in real time, starting just after the rover jettisoned its heat shield. The first few seconds show the heat shield falling away toward the red dirt of Gale Crater far below.
Other milestones follow, such as parachute deploy and ignition of the engines on Curiosity's "sky crane" descent stage, which lowered the 1-ton rover to the Martian surface on cables. Audio from mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., plays over the video, describing the nail-biting action
As Curiosity nears the Martian surface, huge dust clouds billow around the $2.5 billion robot, kicked up by the sky crane's rockets. Then the view clears to show a close-up, static shot of scattered pebbles.
If you haven't seen it yet, watch 7 Minutes of Terror, the movie trailer-esqu video simulation of the landing sequence before watching the real thing.
7 Minutes of Terror:
Real video of MSL descent: