NASA released one of the most iconic videos in the history of space exploration on Monday (22). It is the first time that we see a vehicle land on another planet in a video with a frame rate typical for commercial cameras – in this case the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars on the Jezero crater last Thursday (May 18, 2019) ).
The spacecraft’s landing system followed exactly what Curiosity, the previous rover, had used in 2012. This time, however, it was equipped with a camera system to record the entire EDL phase of the mission. EDL stands for Entry, Descent and Landing. There were seven commercially purchased cameras installed on top of the capsule, on top of the rover, and under the vehicle to record the critical phases of the so-called “seven minutes of terror,” the time between entering the Martian atmosphere and the gentle touch of the Surface.
The pictures are fantastic. The opening of the parachute, one of the most important and challenging elements of the mission, was recorded in detail (at 75 frames per second), and the camera under the rover followed all the way from throwing the heat shield to resting in Jezero crater.
The first panoramic image from the cameras installed on the vehicle’s mast, part of the MastCam-Z instrument, was also presented.
Mosaic of images with the first panoramic view of the Perseverance rover with the cameras of the MastCam-Z instrument. Image credit: NASA
The US space agency held an almost two-hour press conference at the JPL (Laboratory of Jet Propulsion, responsible for managing the mission) to present the news that the rover had transmitted to Earth over the weekend. To see everything that happened translated into Portuguese, check out the video below.
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