People had by no means seen a spacecraft land on one other planet—till now

A rover's-eye view of a forbidding rocky landscape.

Panoramic picture of Mars taken by Perseverance on February 20, 2021. (credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

By no means earlier than, in all of our hundreds of thousands of years, have people straight noticed a spacecraft touchdown on one other planet. Till now.

On Monday, NASA launched a video (embedded under) that included a number of viewpoints from the descent of Mars Perseverance to the floor of the crimson planet final week. A digital camera on the again shell captured a view of the parachute deploying, and cameras on the descent stage and rover itself captured the ultimate seconds of the touchdown.

“I can, and have, watched these movies for hours,” stated NASA’s Al Chen, the lead for the entry, descent, and touchdown for Perseverance. “I discover new stuff each time. I invite you to take action as effectively.”

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Perseverance on Mars: The place it’s, and what the subsequent steps are

Perseverance on Mars: Where it is, and what the next steps are

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Of their first press convention following Perseverance’s profitable touchdown on Mars, NASA and JPL scientists revealed some info on the place the rover landed and what to anticipate for the subsequent a number of days and weeks because it begins its mission in earnest.

Pics or it didn’t occur

One of many first orders of enterprise is getting a few of the photographs, audio, and video taken in the course of the touchdown again to Earth. For now, doing so requires utilizing a low-gain antenna to transmit information to a few of the {hardware} in orbit round Mars. Jennifer Trosper, the deputy venture supervisor for the rover, stated that the Mars Odyssey orbiter ought to have a quick cross overhead throughout the subsequent few hours, adopted by the Mars Hint Gasoline orbiter, which may have an extended overflight and seize bigger quantities of knowledge. Matt Wallace, one other deputy venture supervisor, stated that needs to be sufficient to permit NASA to launch video of the touchdown on Monday.

Lengthy-term, nonetheless, communications will depend on a high-gain antenna that can permit direct communications with Earth. That may require pointing, which implies understanding the rover’s present orientation on Mars’ floor, which the staff has inferred from the shadows forged within the first photographs despatched down. By the way, these had been taken with clear lens caps on the Perseverance’s navigation cameras, so we will anticipate higher photographs as soon as these are eliminated.

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NASA’s most complicated, bold rover but is on its approach to Mars [Updated]

Thursday 8am ET Replace: An Atlas V rocket efficiently launched the Mars Perseverance mission into orbit Thursday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Pressure Station in Florida. The rocket’s higher stage has made the primary of its two firings.

To obtain Earth-escape velocity, a second firing will finish about 53 minutes after liftoff, after which the spacecraft will likely be launched on its journey to Mars. It can arrive in February, at which period NASA will try to land its heaviest ever rover on the pink planet.

Unique put up: NASA is about able to ship its largest and most succesful rover to Mars. With a mass of 1.025 metric tons, the Perseverance rover is about 14 % extra cumbersome than its predecessor, Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012.

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