Casual Friday — Curiosity on its way

I normally try to avoid repeating myself on posts here — but this week’s video is just too good to put off until later. In case you missed last Saturday’s launch of NASA’s / JPL’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) “Curiosity” rover to Mars, here’s the first five minutes of flight — up until the separation of the 1st and 2nd stages (direct link):

And even better, here’s video of the separation of MSL from the upper stage (direct link):

And if that isn’t enough for you, did you hear that some astronomers in Australia were able to make a quick video clip out of some images they took of MSL and the Atlas launch vehicle’s Centaur upper stage on their way toward Mars (direct link)?

By the way, what looks like a comet is the Centaur venting its left-over propellants; MSL is the tiny dot to its left.

H/T: Tom’s Astronomy Blog, Universe Today

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