The Curiosity rover's descent to Mars, now in HD! -- VIDEO

Spoiler alert: Up close, the Red Planet looks more like the Beige Planet. Nevertheless, the following video — a 50-second HD thrill ride, captured by the MARDI descent imager as NASA’s Curiosity rover barrelled toward the surface of Mars on August 6 — is, for lack of a better phrase, insanely cool. The only thing that’s missing is a bombastic soundtrack; can someone please make a remix scored by “Space Oddity”? Or maybe “Major Tom,” in honor of the late, great Gale Boetticher? Click on to watch the descent in all its glory.*

*Feel free to cover the video’s silence by playing the second video at the same time. For maximum awesomeness, start the second clip at 0:53.

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