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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Video of Curiosity saying bye bye to its heat shield

By Phil Plait

As the rover Curiosity descended to the surface of Mars, the heat shield that protected it from the heat of atmospheric entry was ejected while still high above the rusty plains. Cameras pointed downward captured images of the heat shield as it fell away, and folks at JPL put together this short video of it:

How cool is that? Mind you, that's flippin' Mars in the background! And we also have a shot of the heat shield lying on the ground a few hundred meters away from the rover's landing spot, too.

I'll have more stuff from the rover soon, too. It's getting hard to keep up with all the news coming from Mars!

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