On Monday night, NASA released the first video showing the Perseverance planetary rover landing on Mars. The machine landed on the surface of the Red Planet four days ago. The first sound recordings from Mars also arrived on Earth.
A little over three minutes of video shows images from several cameras placed in different places of the cruise module after it entered the Martian atmosphere. One shows the unfolding of the parachute braking the rover capsule, the other, located under Perseverance, shows the approaching Martian surface, and two other shots show the rover, suspended on ropes under a special landing platform and gradually settling on the ground.
“This is the first time we’ve captured an event like a landing on Mars,” Michael Watkins, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where the rover was built, told a press conference. “This is really fantastic,” he added, not hiding his emotions. – These photos and videos are what we have dreamed of for years – said Allen Chen, who was responsible at NASA for the landing process. “They will be used by our teams to research and better understand what happens during such a landing,” he added.
When entering the Martian atmosphere, the rover was protected by a thermal shield at a speed of 20,000 kilometers per hour. The video also shows the moment when the shield separates from the Perseverance transport capsule. The first audio file of landing sounds was also sent to Earth. The sound was recorded thanks to two microphones placed on the rover, which is a complete novelty in previous missions to Mars.
In the clip you can hear the metallic sounds of the rover, but also clearly hear the Martian wind. “Yes, you just heard a blast of wind on the surface of Mars, intercepted by a microphone and sent to Earth,” said Dave Gruel, NASA’s space equipment leader.
He added that these are “the first sounds recorded on the surface of Mars”.
Main photo source: NASA / JPL-Caltech / PAP / EPA