1. Buster says

    So cool.

    For those who care, the real-time video is located at:

    These videos show the descent from about 7 miles above the surface, at the point when the heat shield detaches and the parachute opens. Then, about 1000 meters above the surface the parachute detaches and the vehicle fires rockets to further slow the descent so the rover (which, at 35 meters, is lowered by the “sky crane” to hand from the vehicle) can land softly and then the vehicle propulsion section jets away so that it doesn’t smash into the rover. Hence all the dust near the end of the video.

    Anyone reading this probably knows all that, but I just enjoy describing the whole Rube-Goldberg sort of contraption. It’s hard to decide which is more impressive — that we can send something to another planet and land it where we want to, or that we can build a contraption with so many complicated moving parts that ends of working just as planned after a trip through space.