Jet Propulsion Laboratory shared first-of-its-kind video footage Monday depicting the Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars last week.
JPL Director Mike Watkins congratulated the team for their groundbreaking accomplishment, adding that he and they had been “binge-watching” the latest footage from the photos over the weekend.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to capture an event like the landing of a spacecraft on Mars,” he said. “My hat is off to the team.”
The new footage shows the rover shedding its heat shield, deploying its parachute, then descending down to the surface on rockets before finally being lowered to the ground on a tether.
“These are really amazing videos. They not only provide valuable data for scientists and engineers but allow JPL to share the wonder of exploration with the public,” Watkins said.
“We will learn something by looking at the performance of the vehicle in these videos, but a lot of it is also to bring you along on our journey,” he said.
Throughout JPL’s history, “We have taken everyone along with us on our journeys across the solar system, through the rings of Saturn, looking back at the Pale Blue Dot and incredible panoramas on the surface of Mars,” Watkins said.
The landing video “is the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit,” NASA Associate Administrator for Science Thomas Zurbuchen said. “It should become mandatory viewing for young women and men who not only want to explore other worlds and build the spacecraft that will take them there but also want to be part of the diverse teams achieving all the audacious goals in our future.”
Scientists also released the first recording of Martian breeze, which was collected by a microphone affixed to the rover.
The rover was healthy and all systems were “nominal,” according to JPL’s Perseverance Mission Manager Jessica Samuels.
“And when I say ‘nominal,’ that really means ‘fantastic,’” she said.
The Perseverance rover is settling into its new home at Mars’ Jezero Crater after touching down on Thursday. It launched from Florida in late-July.
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 22, 2021