Mars: The Movie

As the Mars Rover was going through its Seven Minutes of Terror while it descended to the surface, it was snapping pictures about four times a second. If you take those pictures, set them to their relevant duration, and smooth the differences between them, you get something Totally Fucking Awesome: a Mars Landing video in real time.

[via parislemon]

It is amazing when the human race does something that doesn’t always involve blowing people up.

In a weird twist, I got the ad for Altas Snored II with a tagline something like “A REAL Hero doesn’t need cape.” Which is wonderfully hilarious too me as JOHN GAULT IS A FUCKING FICTIONAL CHARACTER. Does this mean that he’s free market Jeebus?

Wow, this is so much better than the one that was just each frame as fast as possible.

@IanJ: Lovingly crafted — took him a few days, from the YouTube description. There’s the frame timing, and then there’s the “interpolation” between images, to get that smooth motion.

I also looked at one of those “unretouched” versions last night — images just flipping past — and while that’s useful for precision, it doesn’t give you the feel of the action. This one was stunning.

I love missions like Curiosity, which are accomplished with the change NASA lost in its sofa cushions.

@blogenfreude: Someone, in some comment somewhere on Curiosity (responding to another someone who was griping about all the money wasted) suggested that Curiosity cost as much as 20 minutes of war in Iraq. I didn’t check his numbers, but that sounds about right.

So was I the only one hearing this voice in my head saying “Stay on target, stay on target..”

I am heathen

To look at this way, the 2 Trillion that was wasted in Iraq and 2 Trillion used in various bailouts because supposedly wise free market institutions got real stupid and greedy could have funded at least 2 manned missions to Mars.

Or if you look at in less pie in the sky terms, revamped the entire US Amercia infrastructure.

@blogenfreude: @IanJ: It was, to be fair, a massively expensive undertaking. However, the video jibes nicely with NASA’s defense of the cost:

The rover was subject to delays and cost overruns, eventually coming in at a total cost of $2.5 billion. During the press conference, NASA officials pointed out that this amount [sic] to roughly $7 per U.S. citizen.

“This whole enterprise comes out to be the cost of a movie,” said John Grotzinger, project scientist for the mission, “And that’s a movie I want to see.”

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