The US space agency NASA has released new video and audio of the Perseverance rover landing on Mars. The video chronicles major milestones during the final minutes of its entry, descent, and landing (EDL) on the Red Planet on 18 February 2021, as the spacecraft plummeted, parachuted, and rocketed toward the surface of Mars. A microphone on the rover provided the first audio recording of sounds from Mars.
From the moment of parachute inflation, the camera system covers the entirety of the descent process, showing some of the rover’s intense ride to Mars’ Jezero Crater. The footage from high-definition cameras aboard the spacecraft starts 11 kilometers above the surface, showing the supersonic deployment of the most massive parachute ever sent to another world, and ends with the rover’s touchdown in the crater.
The Mars landing begins about 230 seconds after the spacecraft entered the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere at 20,100 kph.
“For those who wonder how you land on Mars – or why it is so difficult – or how cool it would be to do so – you need to look no further,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk.
“This video of Perseverance’s descent is the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science. “It should become mandatory viewing for young women and men who want to explore other worlds and build the spacecraft that will take them there.”
According to NASA, a microphone attached to the rover did not collect usable data during the descent, but the commercial off-the-shelf device survived the highly dynamic descent to the surface and obtained sounds from Jezero Crater on 20 February. About 10 seconds into the 60-second recording, a Martian breeze is audible for a few seconds, as are mechanical sounds of the rover operating on the surface.
“We know the public is fascinated with Mars exploration, so we added the EDL Cam microphone to the vehicle because we hoped it could enhance the experience, especially for the visually-impaired space fans, and engage and inspire people around the world.”
“If this were an old Western movie, I’d say the descent stage was our hero riding slowly into the setting Sun, but the heroes are actually back here on Earth,” said Matt Wallace, Mars 2020 Perseverance deputy project manager at JPL.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also released the mission’s first panorama of the rover’s landing location, taken by the two Navigation Cameras located on its mast.
(Story sourced from NASA website)