NASA on Monday released a spectacular video of the landing on Mars of its rover Perseverance, the first of its kind. A shrill sound produced by the rover was also disclosed, as well as the sound of the Martian wind. The rover arrived on the Red Planet on Thursday in search of ancient life.
Just over three minutes long, the published video reveals the images of several cameras located in different places on the module, after its entry into the Martian atmosphere: one shows the deployment of the supersonic parachute, another, located under the rover, the Martian ground approaching, and two other views show the rover gradually deposited on the ground, suspended by three cables.
>> Watch the descent and theamarsissage of the Perseverance rover on Mars (official NASA video):
No sound could be recorded during the vertiginous descent, however, NASA said. Previous missions had tried to send microphones to Mars, but never succeeded in fulfilling the objective (read box).
“This is the first time that we have been able to capture an event such as a landing on Mars,” Michael Watkins, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where the rover was built, said at a press conference: “C ‘is really fantastic.
“These images and videos are what we have dreamed of for years,” added Allen Chen, who was in charge of the landing for NASA. They will be used by NASA teams to better understand what happens during such a landing.
>> Watch the 360 ° Martian panorama obtained thanks to six images taken by Perseverance cameras, February 20, 2021:
The rover was protected by a heat shield at its entrance, at a speed of 20,000 km / h, in the atmosphere. We can also see this shield dropped on the surface of Mars on the video. Eight retro-rockets then finished slowing the vehicle, and Martian dust can be seen propelled under their effect.
The cameras are standard commercial cameras, which have been added without being connected to the rover’s system so as not to disturb it.
The maneuver ofamarsissage was perilous and, the crater of , the riskiest ever, because of its relief.
>> Consult the interactive NASA map to see where Perseverance is located:
The hiss of the Martian wind
In the sound excerpt published by the US space agency, we can hear a shrill sound produced by the rover, but also clearly the Martian wind: “Yes, you have just heard a gust of wind on the surface of Mars , captured by the microphone and sent back to Earth, “said Dave Gruel, in charge of this equipment for NASA.
These are “the first sounds recorded on the surface of Mars,” he added at a press conference. The American space agency also made the same sound heard but with the noise of the rover attenuated.
>> Listen to the sound (thin) of the Martian wind recorded by Perseverance on February 20, 2021 (sound with the noise of the rover attenuated):
Perseverance won two microphones, one of which is located on the, an ultra-sophisticated shoebox-sized camera: “We are hopeful that we can continue to use these mics to capture sound,” said Dave Gruel. One of them can be used in particular to analyze the noise produced when the SuperCam, designed by the French, uses its laser to strike the rock.
>> Perseverance and other sites of successful NASA missions to Mars:
The Perseverance rover linked to other successful NASA missions to Mars. [JPL-Caltech – NASA]
Stéphanie Jaquet and the agencies
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