NASA's Perseverance rover has spent the last week on the surface of Mars and in that short time has already sent back thousands of photos - including a cheeky selfie. The latest rover from the US space agency landed on the Red Planet just before 21:00 GMT on Thursday, February 18 after a hair raising '7-minutes of terror'. The $2.2 billion vehicle is equipped with 23 cameras including nine for engineering work, seven for science and seven to help it land on the Martian surface. The first image sent back from Mars was a grainy, dust covered black and white picture taken by one of the Navigation Cameras and shows rocks of various sizes littering the Jezero crater. Among the most iconic images sent back was the rover dangling over the Martian surface, attached to the sky crane that helped it safely land on the Red Planet. Other images returned include a sensational high resolution 360-degree panorama of the Martian landscape and a video of Perseverance's nail biting landing.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has sent back its first high-definition panorama, giving a 360-degree look from the planet's surface using its rotating Mastcam-Z instrument. The picture is the rover's second panorama since Perseverance landed on the planet on Feb. 18. The rover's Navigation Cameras -- also on the mast -- captured another panorama on Feb. 20.
NASA gave the world a tour of Mars using the high resolution 360-degree panorama Perseverance sent back from the Red Planet. The rover captured the scene using its powerful Mast Camera, Mastcam-Z for short, as it sat about one and a half miles from the basin of the Jezero Crater that it will soon explore in search of ancient signs of life. The stunning panorama was created with 5,000 commands parameters that shot a total of 142 images that were beamed back to Earth where NASA stitched them together. While the image may seem like a barren landscape, taking a closer look through the area reveals a number of hidden gems waiting to be investigated by Perseverance. To the left of the rover sits an interesting rock that NASA has named'harbor seal' that stands at a point that was formed from Martian wind eroding it for billions of years and northeast of the rover are structures littering the ground that could have came from an ancient volcano.
The technical terms for the seven minutes of terror is "entry, descent, and landing," or EDL. It starts when the spacecraft enters the Martian upper atmosphere at around 20,000 kilometers per hour (12,500 miles per hour) and faces rapidly increasing temperatures. Perseverance is protected by a heat shield and shell, as well as a suite of 28 sensors that monitor hot gases and winds. About four minutes into EDL--roughly 11 kilometers (seven miles) above the surface and still hurtling to the ground at about 1,500 km/h (940 mph)--the rover deploys a 21-meter parachute The spacecraft will get rid of its heat shield soon. Underneath are a slew of other radar instruments and cameras that will be used to set the spacecraft down in a safe spot.
A trio of spaceships from Earth are on their way to Mars in search of life and to better understand the atmosphere and environment of the Red Planet. Orbiter missions from the United Arab Emirates and China, as well as rovers from the Chinese and American space agencies are due to arrive by the middle of February. Each of the vessels are currently hurtling through space at thousands of miles per hour, gathering data about the space between the two worlds to send back home. The NASA mission is the largest, sending the next generation of rover that will follow in the footsteps of Curiosity in revealing more about our neighbouring world. Each of the missions will be a precursor to future, more adventurous Mars trips, with the ultimate aim of putting humans on the Red Planet by the end of the 2030s. Each of the three missions is unique, looking to achieve slightly different things and different milestones for their respective space agencies.