This is the first time in history that we have been able to videotape how we landed on Mars. On board the Perseverance Martian, two cameras recorded him landing on the red planet with amazing precision.
At the NASA press conference Michael Watkins, the director of JPL mentioned the first Martian photo taken by Mariner-4 in 1964 as an illustration. This was hand-colored by NASA researchers based on the data transmitted – compared to 30 gigabytes of data from Perseverance (or Percy) in just a few days, and more than 23,000 images of the landing and first days.
Watkins also noted that the video will allow anyone to see what can be successfully landed on Mars.
The landing was recorded by so-called EDL cameras, which were named after the words Entry, Descent, and Landing. The camera system consists of 3 devices, one of which broke down on landing, but two still sent stunning shots back to Earth. Recordings begin 230 seconds after the rover enters the upper atmosphere of Mars.
“We had two important stipulations about EDL cameras: the first is not to cause injury to the flying vehicle, which, we now know we did, and the second is more of a mantra – no matter what we get back, we shouldn’t upset ourselves,” he said. away at the press conference Matt Wallace, Deputy Project Manager, Perseverance. “The mission can be fully successful even if the EDL doesn’t work.”
Luckily, that didn’t happen, and the landing shots were impressive. It’s just as exciting that Percyn has two microphones that, while not working during the landing, have been recording sound ever since, so now we can listen for the first time to what the sound of the red planet is like. You can hear the Martian winds in about ten seconds on the recording. Researchers have also created a version that has muted the rover’s buzz to make it easier to hear everything that’s happening on Mars. The recordings can be listened to by clicking here.
Al Chen, the head of Perseverance’s EDL stage, also said some details about the video: for example, he explained that when the parachute opens, Percy raced to the surface at 1.7 times the speed of sound, and the pattern of the parachute helped the JPL team position it. space in the direction. And one of the shots shows the engines warming up so much that they are already glowing pink – but that’s perfectly normal, and the researchers were expecting it.
Justin Maki, an imaging scientist at Perseverance and head of the instrument operations team, said rover cameras produce much better quality images than previous Martian devices: we’re talking 20-megapixel color cameras that can also capture wide-angle shots.
NASA experts also noted that the new, high-quality photos, and of course the video the rover took while landing, are also very useful from a scientific point of view because they show Percy’s landing site, the Jezero Crater, from a new perspective.
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