NASA released on Monday February 22 a spectacular video of the landing of its rover “Perseverance”, the first of its kind, after the mission’s arrival on Mars 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 soil approaching, and two other views show the rover gradually deposited on the ground, suspended by three cables. However, no sound could be recorded during the vertiginous descent.
“This is the first time that we have been able to capture an event like a landing on Mars,” Michael Watkins, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where the rover was built, told a press conference. “It’s 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.
A speed of 20,000 km / h
The rover was protected by a heat shield as it entered the atmosphere at a speed of 20,000 km / h. 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 landing maneuver was perilous and the site chosen, the crater of Jezero, the most risky ever attempted, because of its relief.
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