NASA’s Perseverance Rover may only hit Mars this week, but it is already busy exploring its environment. And engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have also been busy, processing the first images from various cameras on the rover’s board.
Perhaps the most exciting image released so far is a sneak preview of the footage of the landing, captured from a never-before-seen angle. Fortitude is the first rover to have multiple cameras on the entry, descent and landing system that should record footage of the landing as it happened. We can also see a video of the landing from the rover’s point of view soon.
To ease his hunger, JPL released this incredible still image of the rover swinging on the Martian surface as it headed towards the ground.
Gregorio Villar, a systems engineer for the Entry, Decent and Landing (EDL) team at JPL, first told Digital Trends about his enthusiasm for viewing footage from cameras on the EDL system. He said the cameras were fitted “based on the best effort” the engineers hoped they would capture impressive footage, but not entirely certain that they would work, and that they had “taken them to the mission.” Described as “a cherry on top.”
From the look of the first still-released image, it seems that cameras have exceeded expectations, capturing a beautiful, crisp color image of the rover as it lands on cables from a descent stage like a jetpack at landing is. The process is called skyren maneuver.
We can expect to see more pictures and videos of the landing in the future, as there were seven cameras on different parts of the hardware. Villar previously stated that the footage he was most eager to see was from three cameras of upside-down capsules, as he should have captured a deployment of supersonic parachutes that engineers had never seen before on Mars .
More data from EDL cameras, not to mention all other cameras on the firmness of their science and engineering cameras, should come through the next few days and weeks, which JPL plans to share with the public.
For the Rover itself, it is currently healthy and well, everything is working as expected. The next important step in the mission is the release of its mast, which has two navigation cameras as well as two science instruments, Supercam and Mastcam-Z. The mast will be raised in position today, Saturday, February 20. Then we should have to treat panoramic images of the rover’s surroundings captured by navigation cameras.