NASA has posted a highlight reel (above) showing the last nail-biting moments in California’s mission control as the team waits for confirmation that its Perseverance Rover had landed safely on the surface of Mars.
The video, which mixes animated footage of the landing process with clips from Mission Control, which the rover saw approaching the Martian surface, also includes the very first image firmly returned just moments after touchdown. The image is not the greatest quality, but it is because it is from the rover’s dangerous camera, which will help drive vehicles around Mars. Before long, we should get full color, high-definition imagery and video, too.
Perseverance at Mars Mid-ET ET on Thursday 18 February, marking the end of a six-and-a-half-month space journey.
The most challenging part of the journey came at the very end when the spacecraft carrying the rover is known as the “Seven Minutes of Terror”. During this period, the spacecraft had to autonomously perform a series of timely maneuvers as well as deal with extreme speed and temperature changes as it landed beneath the ‘Jagero crater’ of Mars.
The highlight video depicts the team’s jubilee when news arrives from Red Planet, about 125 million miles away from the successful landing of the rover.
The mission, which oversees NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will soon allow the highly advanced Fortitude Rover to search the surface of Mars for signs of ancient life, as well as collect samples of Mars to return to Earth later. Fortitude is also carrying a small drone-like vehicle called Ingenuity that will soon attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet.
NASA Administrator Steve said, “This landing is one of those pivotal moments for NASA, the United States, and space exploration globally – when we know we’re there to discover and sharpen our pencils, so to speak for,”. Juveski said after the safe arrival of the rover.
Jurski said: “The Mars 2020 Perseverance Mission embodies a sense of perseverance, even in the most challenging of conditions in our nation, inspiring, and advancing science and exploration. The mission itself adheres to the human ideal of perseverance towards the future and will help prepare us for human exploration of the Red Planet. “