Sunday, January 29, 2006

Roving Mars in IMAX

Saturday night I went to the Metreon to see the short documentary featuring images from Mars on the IMAX screen. The movie was long on visuals but short on explanations. The NOVA documentary & Steve Squyres book are more informative about the technical & personal stories behind the mission. For me the most impressive images in the IMAX movie were the rovers being built & tested, the parachutes being tested & the computer animated sequence of the rocket launch.

But there was not enough explanation. I wanted to know more about all the stuff that was on the rovers. I wanted to know why the early parachute designs were flawed. I wanted to know what the heck all the stages of that rocket were for. It's pretty wild to see that huge rocket jettison more & more components, until it's just a small disk flying through space. & I wanted to know how they came up with that crazy bouncing landing gear. To me, these would be compelling stories.

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