For the first time in human history, we can watch the moment a rover sets its wheels down on Mars.
Тhe amazing video, released today, was recorded as the one-ton rover Perseverance descended to Jezero Crater on February 18th. Until now, scientists and engineers could not observe the landing of Mars with their own eyes – they could only read a recording of a spacecraft’s movements from a distance, in a series of data transmitted as it descended through the thin Martian atmosphere.
“These are days that I’ve waited years for—it almost doesn’t seem real,” says Adam Nelessen of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who is on the team responsible for the descent imagery. “It looks like it’s straight out of a science fiction movie.”
NASA also released a 360-degree panorama taken from the surface on February 20, plus other new images from the surface and orbit, as well as audio captured from the surface in which a brief Martian breeze is audible.
NASA put a microphone on the Perseverance rover to hear what it sounds like on Mars. Listen here for the first ever recording of audio on Mars.