Days after its rover made a sensational and safe touchdown, NASA released a unique and never-seen-before video of its rover Perseverance making a successful landing on the Red Planet. It also released the first audio recorded on the surface of Mars.
The entry, descent, and landing were captured by high definition cameras as Perseverance made its way to a landing site in Jezero Crater, a location that was home to a lake of liquid water billions of years ago.
The dramatic high-definition video clip, which lasts for 3 minutes and 25 seconds, shows the descent up to the point when the wheels of the rover made contact with the Martian surface. The video shows the heat shield dropping away after protecting the rover during its entry into the Martian atmosphere and the rover’s touchdown in a cloud of dust.
— NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 22, 2021
“The amazing panorama and the first … landscape shot of the Jezero crater seen with human eyes and the first Martian sounds are the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit,” said Dr Thomas Zurbuchen, Nasa’s associate administrator for the science mission directorate.
“The video, I believe, should become mandatory viewing for young people who don’t only want to explore outer worlds, and build spacecraft to take them there, but also want to be part of diverse teams achieving all the audacious goals of our future.”
The rover also captured some breathtaking panoramic views of the planet, thanks to its 20-megapixel colour cameras detailing the peaks and troughs of Mars’ rugged surface.
All these pieces of evidence are crucial in helping researchers and scientists work on more sophisticated technology to land on Mars.
Launched in July 2020, Perseverance is only the fifth ever to set its foot on Mars. The feat was first accomplished in 1997, and all the missions have been American.