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Take a loop around the International Space Station aboard the shuttle Discovery in stunning high definition.

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Launch of Kepler

Kepler planet-finder begins its mission to discover Earth-like worlds orbiting other stars in the galaxy.

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Shuttle mission STS-126

High definition from orbit! New clips from Endeavour's mission to the space station.

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We are pleased to offer the following high definition video of the Mars Science Laboratory to our Spaceflight Now Plus subscribers. These video files are presented in 720p resolution. Learn how you can subscribe to Spaceflight Now Plus.

Questions about the high definition video can be emailed.


Onboard camera shows nose cone



Running Time: 26 sec
File Size: 14 MB

A camera on the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket's first stage was pointed skyward, capturing the nose cone shrouding the MSL spacecraft separating three-and-a-half minutes into flight.

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Onboard camera shows staging



Running Time: 51 sec
File Size: 30 MB

A camera on the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket captures the staging event as the main engine shuts down and the Centaur upper stage separates to ignite its engine to continue toward orbit.

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Full launch experience



Running Time: 20 min 14 sec
File Size: 738 MB

This longer-length movie captures the final portion of the launch countdown and follows the Atlas 5 rocket's flight through arrival in the preliminary orbit carrying the Curiosity rover headed for Mars.

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MSL launch as seen live



Running Time: 5 min 41 sec
File Size: 173 MB

The Atlas 5 rocket launches the Mars Science Laboratory from Cape Canaveral's Complex 41 at 10:02 a.m. EST, sending Earth's Curiosity to explore the red planet!

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Launch replays: Our view



Running Time: 1 min 17 sec
File Size: 50 MB

The Atlas 5 rocket's launch carrying Mars Science Lab is viewed from the Kennedy Space Center Press Site in this video. (Replay includes live natural audio!)

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Launch replays: Press Site



Running Time: 22 sec
File Size: 14 MB

This is the view from Kennedy Space Center's Press Site at Complex 39 as Atlas 5 rocket takes off. (Replay includes live launch audio!)

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Launch replays: Umbilicals



Running Time: 14 sec
File Size: 9 MB

A close-up camera at the launch pad shows the umbilicals retracting from the Atlas 5 rocket at liftoff. (Replay includes live natural audio!)

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Launch replays: Integration Facility



Running Time: 1 min 3 sec
File Size: 27 MB

This view was captured from the Vertical Intergration Facility where the Atlas 5 rockets are assembled aboard a mobile launch platform and then rolled out to the pad at Complex 41. (Replay includes live launch audio!)

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Launch replays: Tracker west of pad



Running Time: 2 min 25 sec
File Size: 92 MB

The UCS 15 tracking camera positioned west of the Complex 41 launch pad captured this angle of the Atlas 5 launching NASA's New Horizons probe. (Replay includes live launch audio!)

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Launch replays: VAB roof



Running Time: 1 min 3 sec
File Size: 40 MB

A high definition camera atop the Vehicle Assembly Building roof captures the launch of the Atlas 5 rocket carrying the Mars-bound rover. (Replay includes live launch audio).

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Launch replays: Shuttle water tower



Running Time: 28 sec
File Size: 18 MB

Another space shuttle camera, this one mounted on the pad 39A water tower, shows ignition and liftoff of the Atlas 5 rocket with Curiosity. (Replay includes live launch audio).

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Launch replays: Patrick AFB



Running Time: 56 sec
File Size: 35 MB

A powerful tracking camera located at Patrick Air Force Base gives this view of the Atlas 5 rocket launching on the eastward trajectory from the Cape. (Replay includes live launch audio).

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Launch replays: Pad south



Running Time: 33 sec
File Size: 21 MB

Mars Science Lab's departure from Earth is seen in this view from the south of Cape Canaveral's Complex 41 looking across the waterway. (Replay includes live launch audio).

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Launch replays: Shuttle pad camera



Running Time: 22 sec
File Size: 14 MB

A camera mounted on the old space shuttle launch pad looks south to the Atlas rocket's Complex 41 to watch MSL's blastoff. (Replay includes live launch audio).

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Launch replays: Beach tracker



Running Time: 2 min 24 sec
File Size: 87 MB

A tracking camera at positioned on a mound along beach southeast of the launch pad provides this angle of the Atlas 5 rocket' liftoff. (Replay includes live launch audio).

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Project manager interview



Running Time: 9 min 15 sec
File Size: 331 MB

This is a pre-launch interview with Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager Peter Theisinger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

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Previewing Atlas' ascent



Running Time: 5 min 9 sec
File Size: 184 MB

Learn about the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket's flight trajectory to deploy the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft on its interplanetary voyage.

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Atlas rocket's pre-launch campaign



Running Time: 6 min 58 sec
File Size: 253 MB

This narrated movie compiles the highlights from the Atlas 5 rocket's pre-flight campaign at Cape Canaveral in preparation to launch the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft.

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MSL's pre-launch campaign



Running Time: 7 min 34 sec
File Size: 276 MB

This narrated movie compiles the highlights of the Mars Science Lab and Curiosity rover undergoing the pre-launch preparation campaign in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Spacecraft cleanroom tour



Running Time: 4 min 15 sec
File Size: 374 MB

David Gruel, manager of the Mars Science Lab's assembly, test and launch operations, provides this cleanroom tour to show the various elements of the spacecraft.

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Interview with Deputy Project Scientist



Running Time: 3 min 20 sec
File Size: 131 MB

Mars Science Laboratory Deputy Project Scientist Ashwin R. Vasavada talks to Spaceflight Now's Stephen Clark about the mission ahead on the day the Atlas 5 that will carry the rover to the Red Planet rolled to the launch pad.

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Atlas rocket rolled out for launch



Running Time: 4 min 36 sec
File Size: 180 MB

Towering 20 stories tall, the massive United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket is wheeled from its assembly building to the pad to begin final preparations to send NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft to the red planet.

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Rollout time-lapse views



Running Time: 53 sec
File Size: 34 MB

These three time-lapse videos were shot from a camera mound on the beach, atop the liquid oxygen ball at Complex 41 and inside the Vertical Assembly Building showing the Atlas 5 rocket's rollout.

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Rover nuclear power source



Running Time: 14 min 38 sec
File Size: 558 MB

The multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG) for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission is lifted up and into the Vertical Integration Facility for installation into the Curiosity rover.

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Getting onto the Martian surface



Running Time: 2 min 12 sec
File Size: 81 MB

This narrated animation depicts the 7-minute sequence of Mars Science Laboratory's entry, descent and landing on the Red Planet.

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Curiosity exploring Mars



Running Time: 2 min 2 sec
File Size: 76 MB

This narrated animation depicts the Curiosity rover exploring the Red Planet for the Mars Science Laboratory mission.

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The landing site



Running Time: 2 min 30 sec
File Size: 95 MB

This animation shows Gale Crater on the Red Planet where the Mars Science Laboratory mission is headed with the Curiosity rover.

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Meeting up with the Atlas 5



Running Time: 3 min 35 sec
File Size: 138 MB

An overhead crane carefully lifts the Mars Science Laboratory into the Vertical Integration Facility and places the spacecraft atop the rocket for launch.

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Traveling to meet rocket



Running Time: 6 min 28 sec
File Size: 245 MB

A middle-of-the-night trek across the Kennedy Space Center to Complex 41 delivers the Mars Science Laboratory to the Atlas 5 rocket's Vertical Integration Facility.

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All aboard the transporter



Running Time: 13 min 50 sec
File Size: 529 MB

The assembled Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is placed aboard the motorized transporter that will haul the payload to the Atlas 5 rocket hangar.

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Applying the logos



Running Time: 9 min 48 sec
File Size: 375 MB

The Mars Science Laboratory mission logo and NASA emblem are placed onto the rocket's nose cone after encapsulation was finished.

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Spacecraft goes into nose cone



Running Time: 13 min 44 sec
File Size: 525 MB

The Atlas 5 rocket's two-piece nose cone is placed around the Mars Science Laboratory to encapsulate the spacecraft for its launch from Earth.

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Ready for encapsulation



Running Time: 5 min 3 sec
File Size: 190 MB

Here's a final look at the Mars Science Laboratory on planet Earth before it gets shrouded within the Atlas 5 rocket's payload fairing.

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The heat shield



Running Time: 11 min 5 sec
File Size: 426 MB

The Mars Science Laboratory assembly process is completed by installing the heat shield that will protect the spacecraft during Martian atmospheric entry.

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All packed up



Running Time: 8 min 3 sec
File Size: 307 MB

These beauty shots taken in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility cleanroom show the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft all nestled in place before the heat shield is attached.

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Adding the cruise ring



Running Time: 15 min 45 sec
File Size: 600 MB

The cruise stage ring is added atop the backshell with the rover and skycrane already packaged into the spacecraft structure.

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Installing the backshell



Running Time: 9 min 1 sec
File Size: 346 MB

The backshell section of the Mars Science Laboratory containing the parachutes receives the rover and skycrane combo during pre-flight integration for launch.

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Rover and skycrane mated



Running Time: 12 min 44 sec
File Size: 489 MB

The rocket-powered skycrane contraption is lowed onto the Curiosity rover as the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft is packed up for launch.

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Centaur upper stage



Running Time: 8 min 31 sec
File Size: 325 MB

The cryogenically-fueled Centaur upper stage that will propel the Mars Science Laboratory initially into an Earth parking orbit and then on the escape trajectory to Mars is attached to the Atlas first stage.

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The payload shroud



Running Time: 8 min 4 sec
File Size: 311 MB

The two-piece Atlas rocket nose cone that will shroud the Mars Science Lab during ascent through Earth's atmosphere is delivered to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility to await encapsulation around the spacecraft.

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Final SRB added



Running Time: 5 min 42 sec
File Size: 217 MB

The fourth and final solid rocket booster is lifted into position for mounting to the Atlas 5 rocket, providing the vehicle with a powerful kick at liftoff.

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First solid rocket booster



Running Time: 7 min 21 sec
File Size: 281 MB

The first of four strap-on solid rocket boosters for the Atlas 5 vehicle is hoisted into the Vertical Integration Facility for installation.

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First stage erected



Running Time: 8 min 57 sec
File Size: 181 MB

At the Vertical Integration Facility, the Atlas 5's first stage is erected aboard the mobile launch platform to begin the rocket's pre-flight assembly.

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Stowing the robot arm



Running Time: 4 min 40 sec
File Size: 181 MB

After completing its pre-launch test campaign, Curiosity's instrument-laden robotic arm folded up and stowed for flight.

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The rocket stages



Running Time: 13 min 27 sec
File Size: 514 MB

The Atlas 5 rocket's first stage and the Centaur upper stage convoy up through Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center to enter the storage hangar.

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Rover's launch arrives



Running Time: 6 min 2 sec
File Size: 231 MB

The United Launch Alliance Mariner rocket-transport vessel delivers the Atlas 5 rocket to Cape Canaveral from the factory in Alabama.

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Deploying rover's wheels



Running Time: 9 min 54 sec
File Size: 375 MB

The Curiosity rover is flipped over and technicians deploy the six wheels for the vehicle to support itself on the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility floor.

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Storing the power generator



Running Time: 8 min 19 sec
File Size: 314 MB

The multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator is enclosed in a protective mesh container, known as the "gorilla cage," and returned to its storage facility to await flight on Curiosity.

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MMRTG fit check with rover



Running Time: 22 min 11 sec
File Size: 848 MB

In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG) for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover is installed onto Curiosity rover for a pre-flight fit check.

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Nuclear power source arrives



Running Time: 8 min 8 sec
File Size: 310 MB

The multi-mission radioisotope thermoelectric generator (MMRTG) for the rover, enclosed in a shipping cask, arrives at the storage facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Spinning up the cruise ring



Running Time: 1 min 15 sec
File Size: 48 MB

The cruise stage ring undergoes spin-balance testing to ensure its stable configuration for the rotating voyage to Mars.

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Uncovering the Curiosity rover



Running Time: 6 min 58 sec
File Size: 267 MB

The Curiosity rover is revealed in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility as the protective shipping covering is removed.

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Uncovering the skycrane



Running Time: 5 min 17 sec
File Size: 202 MB

The rocket-powered skycrane that will gently set Curiosity onto the Martian surface is revealed in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility as the protective shipping covering is removed.

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Unboxing the rover



Running Time: 4 min 6 sec
File Size: 156 MB

The shipping crate holding the Curiosity rover is opened in Florida at the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility to start unpacking the vehicle.

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Rover delivered to PHSF



Running Time: 4 min 26 sec
File Size: 171 MB

Workers transport the container holding the Curiosity rover to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center for final assembly and testing for launch.

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Rover arrives in Florida



Running Time: 10 min 27 sec
File Size: 397 MB

The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity touches down on the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard an Air Force C-17 cargo plane.

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Descent weights installed



Running Time: 5 min 32 sec
File Size: 214 MB

Ejectable weights are installed onto the aeroshell in preparation for launch. The ballast masses will be jettisoned during atmospheric descent at Mars to change the spacecraft's center of gravity to achieve the desired orientation.

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Adding the solar arrays



Running Time: 6 min 41 sec
File Size: 256 MB

The power-generating solar panels are installed around the outer surface on the cruise ring that feeds power to spacecraft systems during the interplanetary trek from Earth to Mars.

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Earlier Hi-Def Coverage

Expedition 29 to space station
NPP climate and weather watcher
GRAIL lunar mission
Jupiter-bound JUNO launch
Shuttle mission STS-135
Expedition 28 to space station
Shuttle mission STS-134
Expedition 27 to space station
Shuttle mission STS-133
Maiden launch of SpaceX Falcon 9
Shuttle mission STS-132
Shuttle mission STS-131
Shuttle mission STS-130
Solar Dynamics Observatory
Delta 4 with GOES P
Shuttle mission STS-129
Ares 1-X flight test
Delta 2 with STSS Demo
Atlas 5 launches PAN
Delta 2 launches GPS 2R-21
Shuttle mission STS-128
Shuttle mission STS-127
Delta 4 with GOES O
LRO and LCROSS lunar launch
Shuttle mission STS-125
Shuttle mission STS-119
Shuttle mission STS-126
Shuttle mission STS-124
GLAST gamma ray observatory launch

Free Preview!
Watch a free preview of our new high definition video clips from Discovery's mission to the International Space Station. Please check your computer meets our system requirements below. If you have any comments or suggestions about our video service please send us an e-mail.

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  • 2.0 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or faster processor
  • At least 512MB of RAM
  • 64MB or greater video card
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