Curiosity's Landing - Best Video Yet

Chris Higgins

In this stunning video, we see the best view yet available of NASA's Discovery lander speeding towards the surface of Mars. What makes it special is the relative smoothness of the video -- editor Dominic Muller took the source material, a roughly 4 frame-per-second set of still shots from the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) and interpolated those frames to a roughly 25-fps HD video. This process of interpolation (creating interstitial frames where there were none before, by calculating what "should" be there) gives us smoother motion and a sense of better detail. Muller also appears to have upped the contrast and pulled in some richer brown tones. While this video does use effects (Muller didn't magically get more frames from Mars), the resulting video has a truthy feel to it, making the descent seem that much more dramatic. And as we say in the business, it's close enough for government work. Check it out:

For more details, plus a screenshot of the work-in-progress showing all the tracking points involved, and a brief interview with Muller, check out io9's coverage.

For a sense of how Muller's video compares to NASA's original footage, check this side-by-side video out:

(Via io9.)