NASA on Friday launched gorgeous new images from Perseverance, together with one of many rover being gently lowered to the floor of Mars by a set of cables, the primary time such a view has been captured.
The high-resolution nonetheless was extracted from a video taken by the descent stage of the spacecraft that had transported the rover from Earth.
At that second, the descent stage was utilizing its six-engined jetpack to sluggish to a pace of about 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) per hour as a part of the “skycrane maneuver,” the ultimate section of touchdown.
“You may see the mud kicked up by the rover’s engines,” stated Adam Steltzner, Perseverance’s chief engineer, who estimated the shot was taken about two meters (six toes) or so above the bottom.
The three straight traces are mechanical bridles holding the rover beneath the descent stage, whereas the curly cable was used to transmit the information from the cameras to Perseverance.
One other new picture, taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, captures Perseverance because it was parachuting down via the ambiance at lots of of miles an hour.
Perseverance has additionally been capable of add its first high-resolution, coloration photograph displaying the flat area it landed on within the Jezero Crater, the place a river and deep lake existed billions of years in the past.
A second coloration picture exhibits one of many rover’s six wheels, with a number of honeycombed rocks considered greater than 3.6 billion years previous mendacity subsequent to it.
“One of many questions we’ll ask first is whether or not these rocks symbolize a volcanic or sedimentary origin,” stated NASA deputy mission scientist Katie Stack Morgan.
Volcanic rocks particularly might be dated with very excessive precision as soon as the samples are introduced again to Earth on a future return mission — an thrilling growth from a planetary science perspective.
As the primary photographs got here in, “it was exhilarating, the workforce went wild,” stated mission operations system supervisor Pauline Hwang.
“The science workforce instantly began all these rocks and zooming in and going, ‘What’s that!’ — it could not have been higher.”
The primary two photographs had been launched on Thursday shortly after the rover landed, however they had been decrease decision and in black-and-white due to the restricted information price accessible.
NASA hopes to have extra excessive decision pictures and movies within the coming days, however does not know but if it has efficiently recorded sound on Mars for the primary time utilizing microphones.
That is likely to be identified later this weekend or early subsequent week, stated Steltzner.
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