ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 22 — A minute-long video, audio clips and thousands of photographs of the Mars Perseverance rover landing on Mars were released by NASA on Monday. During a press conference that began at 2 p.m., the historic pictures and sounds were revealed. EST. Est. During the descent, NASA had planned to capture audio, but the agency announced Monday that this was not happening.
In helping us figure out where to go and go to a safe location, we really showed that this system can do what we needed it to do,”We really showed that this system can do what we wanted it to do in helping us figure out where to go and go to a safe spot,”
The video showed the deployment of the parachute and the rover from above, hanging under its jet pack, providing the final descent. At Jezero Crater, the rover’s landing site, there were also large views of cliffs, boulders and reddish sand dunes.
After lowering the rover to the Martian surface, the video records the jetpack flying away.”We caught a little over 30 gigabytes of information,” said Dave Gruel, NASA’s project camera chief. “And over 23,000 images of the vehicle descending down to the surface of Mars.”The images are intended to give NASA more insight into how, through robots and often autonomously, hundreds of millions of miles away, the agency’s Mars landings are accomplished.
On Friday, NASA published some still-frame pictures of the landing, but the agency spent the weekend processing the footage.”We’re all going to get to experience just exactly what that [landing] was like,” said Lori Glaze, NASA’s planetary science director, on Friday. “This will be the first time we’ve ever had that opportunity — to not just look at the data that came back. We’re gonna get to see it and live it.”Perseverance is the fifth NASA rover to land on Mars, alighting in a crater on the northern hemisphere of the planet on Thursday.
The landing marks the beginning of a mission to drive through the crater for at least two years, which NASA claims is an ancient lake bed with a river delta. In the search for signs of ancient life, the rover will take rock samples.During its landing in 2012, a previous rover, Curiosity, took video of the ground getting closer, but Perseverance had multiple cameras to illustrate distinct perspectives.
The microphones on the rover could be used on the surface to conduct diagnostic evaluations on different science tools, Gruel said.The photos will also be used to take a closer look at the Jezero area, which humans have only seen before using spacecraft like the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The agency could change the rover’s planned path, depending on what NASA sees.Matt Wallace, NASA’s deputy project manager on the mission, said on Friday, “No one has ever seen it, except from orbital imagery from a few hundred miles up above Mars,”