Watch The First-Ever Video of a Spacecraft Landing on Mars

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.

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance mission captured thrilling footage of its rover landing in Mars’ Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. The real footage in this video was captured by several cameras that are part of the rover’s entry, descent, and landing suite. The views include a camera looking down from the spacecraft’s descent stage (a kind of rocket-powered jet pack that helps fly the rover to its landing site), a camera on the rover looking up at the descent stage, a camera on the top of the aeroshell (a capsule protecting the rover) looking up at that parachute, and a camera on the bottom of the rover looking down at the Martian surface. The audio embedded in the video comes from the mission control call-outs during entry, descent, and landing.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“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. 

Watch The First-Ever Video of a Spacecraft Landing on Mars
Panorama, taken on Feb. 20, 2021, by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover.

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.

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