NASA is all-systems-go to land its 2,000 pound Curiosity rover on the Red Planet this coming Monday. Want a refresher of what it's all about? NASA has prepared a video covering the Mars Science Lab's approach, landing and operations on the Martian surface, and got none other than William James T. Shatner Kirk to tell you all about it.
Between Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Patrick Stewart, the Star Trek franchise has spawned some amazing narrators. NASA's new Curiosity overview video, called "The Grand Entrance," continues that tradition, and also adds another Star Trek alum to the mix: Wil Wheaton, who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
"The Grand Entrance" is a fine primer ahead of Curiosity's arrival on Mars early next Monday. You can watch NASA's coverage of the event live on NASA TV. The landing is scheduled for 1:31 A.M. EDT on Aug. 6, Monday, so have some caffeine handy. Both of the videos below are essentially the same, but you — yippee! — get to pick your narrator.
So, for those who prefer a little Shatner in their science:
And here's the same video, flavored with a little Wheaton: