NASA's Perseverance rover has sent back astonishing video footage of its 18 February landing on Mars. These videos give us the most intimate look ever at the process of setting a spacecraft down on the Martian surface. During the landing, five cameras took videos: two on the back of the capsule holding the rover, one on the sky crane that acted as a jet pack to lower the rover its final 2000 metres or so to the surface and two on the rover itself. The videos show the parachute opening to slow down the spacecraft, and then the heat shield dropping to the surface of Mars once Perseverance is moving slow enough not to need it anymore. "You can get a sense really of how violent that parachute deploy and inflation are," said Al Chen, a Perseverance engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, during a press conference.
NASA's Perseverance took its first drive across the surface of Mars. It was a short jaunt for the car-sized rover, which went about .01 NASA engineers called the drive a success and a'real milestone' for the mission. The debut drive was one of several'firsts' for Perseverance the agency announced Friday, two weeks after the rover landed on the Red Planet. Engineers successfully also tested Perseverance's robotic arm, deployed scientific instruments and completed vital flight software updates. NASA shared images from the Mars Perseverance rover's first drive over the surface of the Red Planet.
The pictures were shared through the'RAW images' feed on the NASA Perseverance website, which showcases every grab from every camera on the SUV-sized rover NASA's mission will search for signs of ancient life on on the Red Planet. Named Perseverance, the main car-sized rover will explore an ancient river delta within the Jezero Crater. This was once filled with a 1,600ft deep lake and may have been flooded multiple times when Mars was warm. It is believed the region hosted microbial life some 3.5 to 3.9 billion years ago and the rover will examine soil samples to hunt for proof. Perseverance landed inside the crater on February 18 and will also collect samples of the soil to return to Earth.
NASA has released new images of the Perseverance rover on Mars, including a shot taken during the'seven minutes of terror' when it endured tumultuous conditions that battered the craft as it entered the Martian atmosphere and approached the surface. The $2.2.billion rover touched down on the Martian surface Thursday following a 239 million mile journey and scientists say it is'doing great and is healthy on the surface, and continues to be highly functional.' The American space agency shared an exciting image shot by the craft orbiting Mars that shows Perseverance, nicknamed Perky, slung beneath the sky crane and attached to mechanical bridals – moments before making landfall. 'The moment that my team dreamed of for years, now a reality. Dare mighty things,' the Perseverance team tweeted as it shared the image on Twitter. The image also captured the dusty and rocky Mars surface below, exciting NASA of what possibilities lie ahead for its beloved Perky.
On Thursday morning, NASA is scheduled to launch its new Mars rover, Perseverance, on a six-month journey to the Red Planet. The car-sized rover will be boosted into space atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket departing from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It's the third and final Mars mission to depart Earth this summer; earlier in July, China and the United Arab Emirates also launched their first Martian explorers. Perseverance is essentially an alien-hunting self-driving car. It's primary mission is to find possible signs of ancient life hidden in the Martian soil and bottle them up so they can be returned to Earth by another robotic mission later this decade.