An ecstatic team at NASA has unveiled the first video and coloured images of the Perseverance landing on Mars, accompanied by the first sound recording of the Martian surface.
The video by a series of high-definition video cameras on the backshell, skycrane and rover itself, has captured what it is like to land on another planet with a ‘treasure trove’ of stunning images of the Martian space for the first time.
The video was played at a news conference showing a landing sequence that NASA staff described as text book landing, going as planned.
The NASA rover travelled through space for almost seven months, covering 472 million km (293 million miles) before landing. Overall, since 1960 this was 49th mission, 23rd by the US, to Mars followed by USSR (17) and includes one mission by India’s ‘Mangalayan’ in 2013-14.
While Manglayan was designed to orbit Mars, also called Mars orbit Mission (MOM), NASA’s Perseverance was designed to land on Mars.
And it did so beautifully capturing images of alien world for the first time.
“These videos and images are the stuff of our dreams,” said Al Chen, who was the leader of the team manoeuvring the landing of the rover.
at the images, he added.
Al Chen is the systems engineer in the Entry, Descent, and Landing Systems and Advanced Technologies group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
According to Chen the data coming from Mars provided a “rich treasure trove” of images and sounds from the red planet’s surface.
The Perseverance, NASA’s fifth Mars science rover cost $2.7bn and took two years to develop.
With Perseverance landing on Mars and two more missions in the pipeline within the next ten years, NASA hopes to find possible evidence of life.
Eight nations and European Union have sent 49 missions to Mars – US (23), USSR(17), Russia(3*), European Union (3*), China (2*), Japan (1), UK (1*), India (1) and UAE(1).
Asterisk (*) above represents a joint mission.