The Guardian

Nasa re­leases video of rover’s land­ing on Mars and first au­dio from the red planet

- Natalie Grover Sci­ence cor­re­spon­dent Space Research · Space Technology · Space · Spacecraft · Space Travel · Interplanetary Space Flights · Solar System · Science · Space Flights · Milky Way Galaxy · The Open University · The Martian

Nasa has un­veiled a first-of-its-kind video of its car-sized rover Per­se­ver­ance mak­ing its sen­sa­tional land­ing on Mars, and re­leased the first au­dio recorded on the sur­face of the planet.

The Amer­i­can space agency shared the footage yes­ter­day, days af­ter the space­craft made its dra­matic de­scent to the Martian sur­face. The ro­botic ve­hi­cle sailed through space for nearly seven months, cov­er­ing 293m miles (472m km) be­fore pierc­ing the Martian at­mo­sphere at 12,000mph (19,000km/h) to be­gin its ap­proach to touch­down on Mars, with the help of a para­chute, booster rock­ets and a sky crane.

Per­se­ver­ance – fondly known as Percy – landed with “eyes open” tak­ing images of the sur­face to choose its land­ing spot. Weigh­ing more than a tonne, it landed nearly in the mid­dle of the land­ing zone within the 28 milewide (45km) Jezero crater north of the planet’s equa­tor, which bil­lions of years ago housed a Martian lake bed.

Nasa sci­en­tists also shared – for the very first time – the sounds of Mars, a feat never achieved be­fore in an­other world. “The amaz­ing panorama and the first … land­scape shot of the Jezero crater seen with hu­man eyes and the first Martian sounds are the clos­est you can get to land­ing on Mars with­out putting on a pres­sure suit,” said Dr. Thomas Zur­buchen, Nasa’s as­so­ciate ad­min­is­tra­tor for the sci­ence mis­sion direc­torate. The $2.7bn rover – whose pri­mary aim is to search for an­cient signs of life – also pro­duced some spec­tac­u­lar panoramic im­agery cour­tesy of its 20 megapixel colour cam­eras de­tail­ing the peaks and troughs of Mars’ dim­pled sur­face.

“We are a long way from un­der­stand­ing that land­scape but … the mis­sion be­gins right here,” said Susanne Sch­wen­zer, an as­tro­bi­ol­o­gist at the Open University.

“I for the first time can imag­ine what land­ing on Mars is like.”

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 ?? PHO­TO­GRAPHS: NASA/JPL-CAL­TECH/AP ?? Com­pos­ite of images from Nasa’s Mars rover and, left, a video still of Per­se­ver­ance’s land­ing on the planet
PHO­TO­GRAPHS: NASA/JPL-CAL­TECH/AP Com­pos­ite of images from Nasa’s Mars rover and, left, a video still of Per­se­ver­ance’s land­ing on the planet
 ??  ?? ▲ The minute-long footage shows the para­chute of Nasa’s Per­se­ver­ance rover be­ing de­ployed for the land­ing
▲ The minute-long footage shows the para­chute of Nasa’s Per­se­ver­ance rover be­ing de­ployed for the land­ing

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