Fresno, California 2021-02-22 14:02:43 –
The release will take place a few days after the world’s first close-up of the Mars landing on Friday, as NASA has released a stunning photo of the latest rover being dropped onto a dusty red surface.
This photo was published within 24 hours of the Perseverance Rover landing near the ancient delta. There, look for signs of ancient life and secure the most promising rock samples to return to Earth within 10 years.
NASA equipped the spacecraft with a record 25 cameras and two microphones, many of which were turned on during the descent on Thursday.
The rover is displayed in great detail just 6 1/2 feet (2 meters) above the ground, lowered by a cable connected to an overhead sky crane, and red dust kicked up by a rocket engine. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California will take more photos in the coming days and, in some cases, promise audio recordings of the descent.
“This is something we have never seen before,” flight system engineer Aaron Stefra said at a press conference. “It was great and the team was in awe. It’s a sense of victory that we were able to capture and share with the world.”
Chief engineer Adam Steltsner called this photo “symbolic,” with a photo of Apollo 11’s lunar Buzz Aldrin, Voyager 1’s Saturn, and the Hubble Space Telescope’s Pillars of Creation. It was.
Video: Mission to Mars: NASA’s Mitch Schulte talks about Perseverance Rover
Pauline Huang, Strategic Mission Manager for Ground Operations, said that many thumbnail images have been beamed down so far, countless. “The team was enthusiastic,” she said, looking at these first photos.
The photos are so clear and detailed that the project’s deputy scientist Katie Stack Morgan initially thought he was looking at animated photos. “Then I did a double take and said: it’s a real rover!” “”
According to authorities, the vehicle is healthy with only one degree of inclination and relatively small rocks nearby after landing on the flat and safe surface of the Jezero Crater. For now, the system is still being checked. It will take at least a week for the rover to start operating.
The delta, which flowed 3 to 4 billion years ago, is just over a mile (2 km) away. Scientists consider it the most likely place to find rocks with microscopic evidence of life in the past.
Another photo of Perseverance’s right front wheel near a rock full of holes is already saliva-sucking by scientists. They want to know if these rocks are volcanic or sedimentary.
NASA has successfully landed on Mars for the ninth and fifth rover.
As with the 2012 Curiosity Rover (still roaming 2,300 miles (3,750 km) away), NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter filmed the patience descending under a giant parachute. did. In each case, the spacecraft and chute resembled spots.
The curious camera captured the last two minutes of stop-motion movie of the descent, but the image was small and blurry. NASA has installed increasingly better cameras on the heavier Perseverance and its descent stage, ensuring that the cameras are on while plunging into the Martian atmosphere for seven minutes.
China will try to land its own much smaller rover at the end of spring. It orbits Mars for a week and a half. The United Arab Emirates also launched a spacecraft in orbit on Mars last week.
ABC-owned television stations contributed to this report.
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