Life, Unbounded

Life, Unbounded

Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiology

Curiosity Across the Stars


This is not a comet, it's Curiosity on its way to Mars

This, I guarantee, is a view of NASA's Curiosity rover embarking on its 250 day trip to Mars that you may not have seen before. It's an extraordinary piece of time-lapse footage taken from Australia not long after launch from Cape Canaveral. It shows a glowing plume from the Centaur stage after a burn over the Indian Ocean - the Centaur rocket has propelled Curiosity first into a low-Earth orbit and then into an escape trajectory towards Mars. You can also see the sunlit spacecraft itself, a tiny speck gliding across the star-fields of the Milky Way as it heads for interplanetary space.

Bon voyage Curiosity!

With thanks to the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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