Mars Curiosity: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Chris Higgins

On August 6, 2012 the Curiosity rover made a successful touchdown on Mars. It was a thrilling moment, the culmination of many careers and decades of hard work -- but at the same time it was just the beginning of the rover's mission on Mars. In the videos below, listen to Allen Chen, who calmly narrated the landing sequence every step of the way. Chen was Entry, Descent, and Landing Operations Lead for the rover (technically known as the Mars Science Laboratory or MSL), and at 2:33 in this video his words: "Touchdown confirmed. We are safe on Mars!" sparked an explosion of joy in the JPL Control Room. Watch this and remember, space fans.

That was looking back. Now let's look forward. In this video below, Chen says: "I've spent almost a third of my life doing this. You don't have many chances to design your baby, to figure out what it's supposed to do in its life, but I feel like we got a chance here." Moody, beautifully shot, and well worth your time.

Mars Rover Curiosity from Mutant Jukebox - Music & Sound on Vimeo.