NASA has released video taken by the Perseverance Landing Module and the Rover is showing the famous “Seven Minutes of Terror” in first-person perspective. The pictures sent on Friday were just a teaser – it’s a complete experience, and First video of Mars landing ever captured.
Full details of the rover’s lineage and mission can be found here, but here is a brief overview of what happened:
After disintegrating to atmospheric interplanetary velocity, the heat shield is jetlined and the parachute deployed. Below the heat shield are several cameras and equipment, which scan the landscape to find a good landing spot. At a certain height and speed the parachute is disassembled and the lower stage of the “jetpack” is finished, the rocket is used to move toward the landing area. About 70 feet above the surface, the “sky crane” ejects the rover from the lander and gently crashes into the ground before the jetpack takes off before crashing at a safe distance.
The entire process takes about seven minutes, with the last few seconds being a particularly white-knuckle ride.
While previous Rovers sent back a lot of telemetry and some imagery, this level of visual documentation is a first. Even Insight, launched in 2018, was not able to send back such footage.
At the press conference, JPL chief Mike Watkins said, “This is the first time we’ve actually been able to catch an event like a spacecraft landing on Mars.” “These are really amazing videos, all of us binge watched them over the weekend if you can watch a one minute video binge. We will learn something by watching the performance of the vehicle in these videos, but a lot of it will show you on our journey Have to bring too. “
The team discussed the entry, descent and landing camera systems, or EDL cams, which were both done to monitor how the process took place and to provide a visceral experience that the entire team had come to love.
“I don’t know about you, but it’s unlikely at this point in my career that I will land a spacecraft to the surface of Mars,” said Matt Wallace, Persistence Deputy Project Manager at JPL. “But when you look at this fantasy I think you will feel that you are getting a glimpse of what it would be like to land successfully in the Jessero Crater with conviction.”
There were upward-facing cameras on the capsule, jetpack and rover, and the latter two also had downward-facing cameras, providing shots in both directions for practically the entire process. This image of a falling away heat shield already feels iconic – we have seen the Apollo landing on the moon, depicting the desert landscape of Mars like a film:
You can see the whole thing below:
More than 30 gigabytes of imaginary descent were captured, even though one of the cameras failed when the parachute was deployed. Sending data back (via Mars orbiters overhead) is a slow process at first, with about 2 megabit connections (still incredibly fast compared to older systems) that gradually increase to leaps and bounds.
Practically each frame of video provides new information about the landing process on Mars – for example, one of the springs used to exclude the heat shield can be seen to be disconnected, However this did not affect the process. All footage is done and no doubt the investigation will continue for other insights.
In addition to these amazing landing videos, Perseverance has sent back several full-color images taken by its navigation cameras, although not all of its systems are running yet. The team put together the first images of observation of themselves and their surroundings to create this panorama with perseverance and perseverance:
We will have many, many more pictures as the team processes and uploads them.
As a parting “gift”, the team provided a remarkable first sound recording from the surface of Mars; He hoped that it would both provide new insights and let anyone who cannot see the images experience landing in a different way.
The EDL system included a microphone to capture the sound of the landing, but sadly it did not work during the descent. It is, however, fully functioning on the surface and now occupying the atmosphere of the Red Planet – and while the sound of a gust of wind may not be particularly alien, it is unbelievable to think that it actually Another is blowing air around the world.