NASA released on Monday (22) the first video captured by the Perseverance rover on Mars. The scenes bring the spacecraft into the atmosphere of the Red Planet and show the exact moment when it landed on the Martian surface last Thursday (18).
The mission team at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) technology center in California was able to retrieve 30 gigabytes of data based on more than 23,000 images. They are part of a set of information disclosed in the virtual conference “How to Land on Mars”, which started today at 4 pm in Brazil.
Perseverance’s descent stage, called “Skycrane”, was carried out using a protective shield that fired rocket propellers to slow it down when approaching the terrain. It consists of four cameras, responsible for capturing the incredible landing sequence. Check out!
In addition, a microphone on board the rover captured sounds from the surface of Mars. The data was obtained by the Deep Space Network, NASA’s network of spacecraft monitoring antennas:
The live broadcast is available on multiple platforms, through NASA TV, the agency’s app and website, and YouTube. The novelty is presented by Thomas Zurbuchen, director of the initiative. It will be formed a discussion table composed of several members of the JPL.
Among them are Michael Watkins (director of JPL), Matt Wallace (deputy project manager), Al Chen (leader of Perseverance entry, descent and landing activities), Dave Gruel (responsible for the rover’s camera system), Justin Maki (image scientist and head of the instrument operations team), Jessica Samuels (surface mission manager) and Ken Williford (project scientist).
“I can watch these videos for hours and keep seeing new things each time,” said Chen during the press conference. The cameras that recorded the moment were provided by the imaging company FLIR and NASA made almost no modifications to them. “You can buy that same camera over the internet,” commented Dave Gruel.
Scientists will answer questions submitted by news outlets and the general public. For that, doubts can be sent through social networks, using #CountdownToMars. After the event, the space agency will bring in more researchers, engineers and experts on the mission to answer questions on Reddit, an event called “Ask Me Anything”.