NASA is about to release “first-of-its-kind footage” showing the Perseverance rover’s arrival on Mars last week.
The video is expected to show the spacecraft going through its most challenging moments as it delivers the car-sized rover to the Martian surface. The complex landing process is known in the industry as the “seven minutes of terror.”
Announcing the imminent release of the video, NASA said space fans will be able to “see Mars like never before.”
Certainly, if the space agency’s recently posted image of Perseverance heading toward the Martian surface is anything to go by, then the video promises to be something very special. It could even include audio, as NASA’s most advanced rover to date is the first to include microphones.
While NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover sent back a stop-motion movie of its descent in 2012, Perseverance’s multiple cameras have captured high-quality color video of its touchdown, the space agency said.
We can also expect to see footage shot by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been traveling around the red planet since 2006. The agency said the orbiter used a special high-resolution camera to capture the spacecraft sailing toward Jezero Crater, with its parachute trailing behind.
NASA will broadcast new images and the highly anticipated footage of Perseverance’s Mars landing on its YouTube channel at 2 p.m. ET on Monday, February 22. For easy access, we’ve embedded NASA’s live TV feed at the top of this page.
NASA said that in the coming days, engineers at the mission headquarters at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California will examine Perseverance’s system data and updating its software before running tests on its various instruments.
After that, over the coming weeks, the rover will test its robotic arm and take its first, short drive.
And then, in a month or two, Perseverance will release Ingenuity from its underbelly ahead of a historic moment that should see the small helicopter become the first aircraft to make a powered flight on another planet.
Finally, Perseverance will spend the rest of its two-year mission scouring the surface of Mars for evidence of ancient life, while also collecting rock and soil samples for later return to Earth. During its adventure, there should be plenty more high-quality video coming our way, too.
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