Video shows NASA’S Mars Perseverance rover’s stunning landing

Anthony France
·Bacaan 3 menit
<p>A still from the video footage of the heat shield separating from the Mars Perseverance rover as it descends towards the red plane</p> (PA)

A still from the video footage of the heat shield separating from the Mars Perseverance rover as it descends towards the red plane


Nasa on Monday released stunning video of its Perseverance rover landing on Mars.

Audio of the first sounds recorded from the surface of the planet, a gust of wind captured by the robot’s microphone was also issued.

The Perseverance rover tweeted a panoramic image of Mars, showing the red rocky surface with mountains and a delta visible in the distance.

An accompanying tweet said: “Landing on Mars is a rush of tension, drama, and noise. Then, when the dust clears: tranquility and grandeur.”

The video clip covers the final minutes of last week’s hair-raising descent, up to the point where Perseverance’s wheels make contact with the ground.

The sequence shows a whirl of dust and grit being kicked up as the vehicle is lowered by its rocket backpack to the floor of Jezero Crater.

Perseverance was sent to Mars festooned with cameras, seven of which were dedicated to recording the landing.

NASA/AFP via Getty Images
NASA/AFP via Getty Images

Their imagery represents vital feedback for engineers as they look to improve still further the technologies used to put probes on the surface of the Red planet.

Controllers at the US space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory continue the work of commissioning the robot.

At the weekend, Perseverance’s navigation mast, which had been stowed flat since leaving Earth last year, was raised into the vertical.

This allowed the main science cameras at the mast’s top, the Mastcam-Z system, to begin building a panorama of the surrounding terrain in Jezero and of the deck of the rover itself.

The latter mosaic is wanted to look for any damage that might have been inflicted by flying stones at the time of landing.

Scientist will later perform the critical task of transitioning Perseverance away from the software that got it safely down to the surface of Mars to one that enables the robot to rove and use equipment such as its robotic arm.

This is likely to take four Martian days or Sols - 24 hours and 39 minutes

By the weekend, space fans might see the first test drive of a few metres.

There’s huge interest in the Ingenuity mini-helicopter that travelled with the rover.


The 2kg device will perform the first powered flight on another world.

But first Perseverance needs to find the right place to put this aircraft down to conduct its experiments.

Mission planners said on Friday it would be a few weeks yet before the robot reached this chosen location, meaning it will probably be April before Ingenuity takes to the skies.

Perseverance – a scientific laboratory the size of a car – is on a mission to search for signs of ancient life and explore and collect samples for future return to Earth from diverse environments on Mars.

The rover will spend the coming years scouring for signs of ancient microbial life in a mission that will bring back samples from Mars to Earth and prepare the way for future human visitors.

Scientists know that 3.5 billion years ago Jezero was the site of a large lake, complete with its own delta.

They believe that while the water may be long gone, somewhere within the crater, or maybe along its 2,000-foot-tall (610 metre) rim, evidence that life once existed there could be waiting.

Perseverance will gather rock and soil samples using its drill and will store the sample cores in tubes on the Martian surface ready for a return mission to bring around 30 samples to Earth in the early 2030s.

It will also trial technologies to help astronauts make future expeditions to Mars.

These include testing a method for producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, identifying other resources such as subsurface water, and improving landing techniques.

They also involve characterising weather and other environmental conditions that could affect future astronauts living and working on Mars.

Read More

Mars landing: NASA releases new image of Perseverance rover being lowered onto Red Planet

Nasa Perseverance rover sends back first pictures from Mars after successful landing

Touchdown! Nasa mission control erupts with joy as Perseverance rover lands safely on Mars