Last week’s pinpoint landing of NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover in Jezero Crater was historic for a lot of causes, chief amongst them the epochal nature of the mission’s activity of looking for indicators of historical life—and caching related samples for eventual return to Earth. But even when the rover finds no proof of Martian microbes throughout its operations, it can have nonetheless produced one other spectacular “first” for the textbooks, which NASA officers unveiled in the present day: An unprecedented take a look at the “seven minutes of terror” between Perseverance’s fiery plunge via the planet’s skies and its coming to relaxation on strong floor far beneath. This is the first-ever high-definition video of atmospheric entry, descent and touchdown upon one other world.
Perseverance’s predecessor Curiosity recorded snippets of the ultimate phases of its Mars touchdown in 2012 that resulted in a brief stop-motion video, and in 2005 the Cassini mission’s Huygens lander beamed again photos and telemetry knowledge from its chilly descent to Saturn’s moon Titan that have been later used to assemble outstanding visualizations. And there’s, of course, no scarcity of lunar touchdown footage from the Apollo missions of yore. But by no means earlier than has a spacecraft captured your entire sequence of an otherworldly touchdown in such lush element. More than mere eye sweet, this knowledge might show essential for the design of future, extra formidable voyages to the Red Planet’s floor, which is taken into account to be one of the photo voltaic system’s most technically difficult touchdown locations.
Here is NASA’s livestream on the footage.
Video credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech