Mars landing video created from NASA’s still photos

Chris Burns - Oct 7, 2015, 12:55 pm CDT
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Mars landing video created from NASA’s still photos

This week video editor Luke Fitch took it upon himself to create a video from NASA’s Curiosity mission landing photos on Mars. Fitch did a healthy amount of editing to fill out the frames between the frames, and even then the video is about 3x faster than the actual landing – but it’s as close as we’re going to get for the time being. This video is less than a minute long and will give you a fantastic sense of what it’s like to land on the planet Mars from a first-person perspective.

As the photos are shown in video format at 15 frames per second, this video is around 3x as fast as real time. The images shown in this video were captured by Curiosity’s MARDI descent imager, and all were captured at 1600 x 1200 pixels. Again, to attain to data needed to make a 15fps video from these photos, Fitch used the technique known as interpolation – the creation of frames in a video between standard frames, each of these frames created using thumbnail data from said standard frames.

Fitch also notes that the final video had a “heavy” noise reduction applied to it – it’s a lot dustier in real life – and that sharpening and color balance were used to standardize the end visual.

The first object to fall is the craft’s heat shield. You can see the impact of the heat shield on the surface of Mars for a moment at 0:21 – this moment is played back at the end of the video as well.

You can learn more about the Curiosity mission in our ever-expanding Curiosity tag portal. Photos and findings can be found there in large amounts.


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