Posted 21 December 2013 - 10:47 AM
I guess that most of us saw these videos already, but it still nice to watch.
Regarding the quality of the Computer Generated simulation, I'd prefer the first one (Spirit and Opportunity), especially the aerobraking sequence during the reentry into the Mars atmosphere, where the CG correctly shows the shield sort of floating and rotating on a cushion of compressed air perhaps 2 or 3 feet thick.
On the second video (curiosity), the ionized air and the flames are almost directly in contact with the shield and the floatation of the probe on its cushion of air is not showed. Instead the CG shows thrusters firing up with no apparent effect on the probe movements.
So, since the next manned missions to Mars are likely to be CG only, that was my 2 cents on it.