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What the Mars Rover Landing Looked Like To Someone Who Actually Built It

NASA's done a fine job of documenting its big Martian landing last week - that little YouTube "robot copyright hiccup": notwithstanding. But one of NASA JPL's engineers...

Aug 15 2012, 6:53pm

NASA’s done a fine job of documenting its big Martian landing last week – that little YouTube robot copyright hiccup notwithstanding. But one of NASA JPL’s engineers just brought the whole thing home with a short personal documentary that might leave a little water in the eyes of even the driest Martian face.

“It’s an amazing experience to see that picture come up showing the shadow of the rover dominating the Martian landscape,” Mark Rober says to the camera, amidst clips documenting the landing, his work at NASA, his life, his wife, his baby, and his mother, who died from ALS before she could see the landing. “A crazy thought. Something I designed, I built, I integrated, I tested is now essentially resting on another freaking planet.” Cue that Explosions in the Sky.

It’s a charming my-first-rover video, but this won’t be his first time going viral: Mark, who sports a Hangover-referring “One Man Wolfpack” t-shirt, releases a new video every month on his YouTube page. His most recent video experiments involve building a giant glowing Super Mario kite and determining whether drivers are more likely to run over turtles than snakes on the highway. Shredder from the Ninja Turtles makes an appearance.

Meanwhile, that giant laser-equipped robot lab he spent seven years of his life working on is getting ready to, hopefully, run over some Martian snakes of its own.