Watch the Mars Curiosity heat shield hit Mars in a cloud of dust

NASA's JPL shows images from Curiosity as it parachuted safely to the ground

NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory continue to give us more great stuff from the Mars Curiosity rover - tonight it's this small video, showing a series of pictures taken from the Mars Descent Imager and showing the Curiosity heat shield hitting the ground and kicking up a dust cloud.

HeatShieldMars590.jpg

NASA says the images were taken "while the rover was still suspended on a parachute, after the spacecraft had jettisoned the heat shield." So it's sort of like the view of a regular parachuter on Earth who happens to drop his camera or keys while descending - only in this case, it's a giant camera or a giant set of keys.

In case you're wondering what else the NASA team has been doing, check out this video, which gives you a roundup for the week's activity, which included software updates for the rover and some other action.

There's no word yet on when the rover will be able to install the Mars Wi-Fi public hot spot, but I've got my fingers crossed.

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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