The NASA has just released the full video of the landing on Mars of Perseverance , the first time the arrival of a recording mission to the red planet.
The images were taken with several cameras attached to the exploration vehicle: they begin shortly after the deployment of the huge parachute, continue with the descent of the spacecraft towards a surface of Mars where many of its geographical features can be observed and end with the shot of Perseverance land .
“By viewing these images, anyone can have an idea of what it would be like to land a spacecraft on Mars,” summarized Matt Wallace, one of those responsible for the mission, during a press conference held today.
For the first time NASA has allowed the rover to carry conventional video and photo cameras to try to document the complete landing. The decision has been a success due to the spectacular nature of the images and the usefulness of these videos and images to better understand the whole process, as explained by the mission team today.
Perseverance successfully landed in the Jezero crater last Thursday at the edge of 10pm PST. This is the largest mission to Mars in history and its main objective is to find traces of life in this area of the northern hemisphere of Mars, which 3.5 billion years ago was a large lake where the conditions suitable for the appearance of life could exist.
In the next few days, those responsible for the mission will analyze the first data accumulated by Perseverance , review its programming and begin to test its different instruments . In a few weeks the vehicle will move its robotic arm for the first time and perform a first short test ride.
In a month or two, the rover is expected to have found a flat enough spot to drop the Ingenuity , a small drone powered by long propellers that has been deployed to Mars for the first time.
This type of autonomous vehicle could be the solution to reach the most rugged and complicated places on the planet, points that could not be visited otherwise. In the future, drones like this could be an important support for manned missions. Another objective of the mission is precisely to prepare the way for the astronauts who will arrive in a few years.
This is also the most expensive mission in the history of the exploration of Mars : about 2.2 billion euros. Perseverance has six wheels and is equipped with seven scientific instruments with which to try to analyze the atomic and chemical composition of the bottom of the disappeared lake in search of unmistakable traces of Martian microbes.
The mission’s science team intends to explore the bottom of the ancient lake and its shores in search of carbonate minerals, which on Earth preserve fossils very well. In the future, the mission could reach the limit of the crater, right at the point where a river entered and where sediments carried by the water are still conserved.
The first images sent by Perseverance so far showed the vehicle still hanging from the crane that successfully brought it to the surface, one of its wheels stepping on the land of Mars shortly after landing and a panoramic, color view of the place in the found.