Cameras on “Percy,” as the rover is fondly referred to as mission control, show for the first time the prospect of a spacecraft landing on Mars. The video begins 230 seconds after the rover enters the Martian atmosphere, with the rover’s parachute inflating 7 miles above the Martian surface, and ends with the rover landing on the surface.
The first sound of Mars was also picked up briefly by a microphone on the rover, which captured seconds of a Martian breeze and sounds of the operating rover once it reached the surface.
However, the microphone didn’t capture any “usable data” from the descent itself – but it survived the process.
“This video of Perseverance’s descent is the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Directorate of Science Missions, said in a statement.
“This should become mandatory for young women and men who want to not only explore other worlds and build the spacecraft that will take them there, but also be part of the various teams who all meet the bold goals of our future.”
The team also shared the first panorama of Perseverance at its landing site.
While previous spaceships have returned “movies,” which are really just pictures put together as GIFs, Perseverance has cameras with video capability. In total, the rover has 23 cameras, which also include zoom and color capabilities.
The rover and its attached helicopter, called Ingenuity, landed on Mars Thursday, February 18.
After landing, the rover retransmitted data and images using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has circled the planet since 2006.
The first black and white images of the rover’s landing site were available almost immediately. Last Friday, the first color images were shared. The rover also returned an unheard of view: what it looks like to land on Mars. This image is a photo from the video that was shared on Monday.
“For those who are wondering how you land on Mars – or why it is so difficult – or how cool it would be to do – you don’t need to look any further,” said Steve Jurczyk, administrator by acting NASA in a statement.
“Perseverance is just beginning and has already provided some of the most iconic visuals in the history of space exploration. It boosts the remarkable level of engineering and precision required to build and fly a vehicle to the Red Planet. . “
Engineers call the landing on the surface of Mars the “seven minutes of terror”. The rover plunges into the thin Martian atmosphere and lands, without NASA assistance, meanwhile due to an 11-minute delay one way.
“Now we finally have a first-hand view of what we call ‘the seven minutes of terror’ upon landing on Mars,” said Michael Watkins, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. , in a press release. “From the explosive opening of the parachute to the plume of the landing rockets sending dust and debris on touchdown, it’s absolutely impressive.”
In the video, a plethora of intriguing moments can be seen from the landing, which has never been seen before from animation.
The video shows the fall of the heat shield, the slight sway of the rover from the descent stage, the Martian surface going into detail, the dust vortex on the red planet as the rover approaches and the maneuver of the ” sky crane “which helps land rovers on the surface of Mars.
During the famous Celestial Crane maneuver, nylon cords lowered the rover to 25 feet below the descent level. After the rover landed on the Martian surface, the cords broke off and the descent stage flew off and landed at a safe distance.
“We installed the EDL camera system on the spacecraft not only to have the ability to better understand the performance of our spacecraft during entry, descent and landing, but also because we wanted to take the public for the journey of a lifetime landing on the surface of Mars, “Dave Gruel, chief engineer of the Mars 2020 Perseverance EDL Camera and Microphone Subsystem at JPL, said in a statement.
“We know the public is fascinated with exploring Mars, so we added the EDL Cam microphone to the vehicle as we were hoping it could enhance the experience, especially for visually impaired space fans, and engage and inspire people around the world. “
The video ends with the wheels of Perseverance literally landing on Mars and the descent stage flies off to a safe distance.
“If this was an old western movie, I would say the Descent Stage was our hero slowly heading towards the setting sun, but the heroes are actually back here on Earth,” Matt said. Wallace, deputy director of the Mars 2020 Perseverance project at JPL, in a report. “I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to see a spacecraft land on Mars for 25 years. It was worth the wait. Being able to share this with the world is a great moment for our team.”
Cameras on the rear hull, the descent scene, and several on the rover itself captured these different perspectives throughout the landing.
An image captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has circled Mars since 2006, shows where the rover and its components landed on the Red Planet.
The mission team performs checks with the rover and its helicopter to ensure that all components, including its scientific instruments, are functioning. The rover will also capture its first weather report using its Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer instrument.
Scientists on the mission analyze the images returned by the rover to determine Perseverance’s path once it begins to explore.
“We’re just starting to do some amazing things on the surface of Mars,” Gruel said.