NASA revealed first videos from Mars Perseverance rover that capture a successful landing on the Red Planet.
Recorded on February 18, 2021, the footage of Mars Perseverance, the largest and the most sophisticated rover to land on the Red Planet, shows its supersonic parachute inflation over the planet. According to Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, the footage is “the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit.”
The video montage was revealed to the media on February 22, 2021. NASA also presented a short audio clip capturing the sound of Mars winds recorded by microphones on the rover after its landing on the planet.
“These videos, and these images are the stuff of our dreams,” said Al Chen, the head of the descent and landing team at NASA.
The only other video footage from Mars was collected during the landing of Curiosity rover in 2012. However, the 3.5 frames per second from a single angle video was less elaborate and did not include any images of the parachute manoeuvre or sky-crane landing.
On February 18, 2021, NASA confirmed the successful landing of the Ingenuity helicopter and Perseverance rover on Mars.
The key objective of Perseverance is to search for signs of ancient microbial life and, using an array of instruments from oxygen generation experiment to spectrometer and radar, to study the composition and structure of Martian surface as well as collect examples from the planet’s geology. The success of the mission will help to push forward the further exploration of Mars. Perseverance rover is so far the most advanced astrobiology probe ever sent to another world.
One of the biggest challenges that Ingenuity is facing is the need to power up and store energy so it can keep itself warm throughout extremely cold Martian nights.
“Ingenuity, the Mars Helicopter I carry, is working as expected. I’m currently charging it, but once I set it down, it’ll rely solely on its solar panels. If it survives the brutally cold Martian nights, the team will attempt flight,” read a tweet from the Perseverance Twitter account.