NASA organized a special press conference devoted to the Perseverance rover mission. She presented, among others, the video the Perseverance rover made when it landed on the Red Planet.
NASA experts admit that they were not sure that the landing recording systems placed on the rover itself and on the space crane would work. However, it happened so and thanks to that it was created an unusual video from the last minutes of landing.
The relationship begins at an altitude of 11 kilometerswhen the parachute opens. Then we see the collapsing heat shield and the surface of the Red Planet zooming in fast. When the crane’s rocket motors begin to pick up dust, we know it’s close. Then you can see the rover lowering from the crane on the ropes and landing a moment later the camera facing up shows the departing crane.
It was announced at the conference that the rover’s microphone did not collect any data that could be used during the landing. However, it was successfully done audio recording already on the surface of the Red Planet – experts assure that in addition to the sounds made by the rover, the wind is also audible on it. NASA emphasizes it the first time in history that a Mars rover was equipped with a microphone.
Apart from the landing film and audio recordings from the surface, the conference was also presented panoramic image of the surface of Mars taken by the rover.
The Perseverance rover, launched in July last year, landed on Mars on February 18. The rover was delivered to Mars by a special landing platform, which at a height of 21.3 meters released it down and gently settled it on Martian ground, then took off by itself.
Perseverance landed in Jezero Crater, which is 49 km in diameter. Probably in the ancient history of Mars there was a lake of liquid water in this place. There is also a well-preserved delta near the landing site seems to be the remains of an ancient river. It is a perfect place to look for possible traces of life on Mars.
The image below, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), shows the Perseverance landing site (center), as well as the crash sites of the heat shield (right), the space crane, and the parachute top cover (left).
In the near future NASA will continue inspecting the rover’s devices and its immediate surroundings. The mission control center will check data on five of the seven instruments installed on Perseverance and make the first observations of Martian weather with the help of the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer instrument.
In the coming days, the rover will send to Earth high definition panorama of the Jezero Crater, made with the help of the Mastcam-Z instrument. This panorama will help in planning the first activities of the rover.