I’ve just watched a really exciting video ‘trailer’ of the Phoenix Mars Lander — it came through my NASA podcast feed. Go directly to what may be about a 5 minute, 120Mb Quicktime movie, or click the Multimedia link from NASA – NASA Spacecraft Fine Tunes Course for Mars Landing:
In the final seven minutes of its flight on May 25, Phoenix must perform a challenging series of actions to safely decelerate from nearly 21,000 kilometers per hour (13,000 mph). The spacecraft will release a parachute and then use pulse thrusters at approximately 914 meters (3,000 feet) from the surface to slow to about 8 kilometers per hour (5 mph) and land on three legs.
I love the way NASA and others are producing these really exciting trailers for upcoming events. When I was a kid space exploration was so exciting, then it all became a bit ho-hum. Now it seems to be slowly clawing back the sense of adventure and excitement.
This ‘trailer’ features the fast clips, the quick cuts, the dramatic music and dynamic titles so popular for action and adventure movies. The story of the landing is full of danger, precision timing and huge (calculated) risks for enormous rewards.
If you have even the faintest interest in our human explorations beyond our own planet then you should watch this movie. If you have no interest, then give it a try: it might draw you in.
And if you have kids, then please show this to them and let them discover if it’s something they want to know about.