Incredible new images shared by Perseverance rover after Mars landing

  • 7 months   ago
After safely landing on the surface of Mars Thursday, NASA's Perseverance rover has sent back a never-before-seen view: what it looks like to land on Mars.
The rover also returned some beautiful postcards of its landing site.
The first image shared during a NASA press conference Friday was "exhilarating" for the team when they received it. It shows the rover nearing the Martian surface during entry, descent and landing. A camera on the descent stage of the spacecraft captured the perspective, something that wasn't possible on previous missions.
"This shot from a camera on my 'jetpack' captures me in midair, just before my wheels touched down," according to a tweet from the Perseverance Twitter account. "The moment that my team dreamed of for years, now a reality. Dare mighty things."
This shot from a camera on Perservance's "jetpack" captures the rover in midair, just before its wheels touched down.
Little dust plumes can be seen kicking up from the Martian surface, stirred by the engines landing the rover when it was just 6.5 feet above the surface.
"The team is overwhelmed with excitement and joy to have successfully landed another rover on the surface of Mars," said Adam Steltzner, the rover's chief engineer. "When we do such investments, we do them for humanity, and we do them as a gesture of our humanity."
Steltzner cited iconic space images from the Apollo mission, like Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon, Voyager's first image of Saturn and the Hubble Space Telescope's awe-inspiring "Pillars of Creation" photo.
"We can only hope, in our efforts to engineer spacecraft and explore our solar system, that we might be able contribute yet another iconic image to this collection, and I'm happy to say that I'm hopeful that today we can with this."
While the first images returned by the rover Thursday evening were black and white glimpses showing it safely landed on Mars, color images made available Friday show the characteristic red color of the Martian surface.
"An open horizon, with so much to explore. Can't wait to get going," the Perseverance account tweeted.
Rocks are also seen scattered across the flat surface of the landing site in Jezero Crater, but they're small when compared to the large rover wheels.
"The Beauty of Flight! HiRISE captured this image of @NASAPersevere on its way to the landing site from over 700 km (435 mi) away!" the HiRISE account tweeted.
"If you look below to the little circle, this was our eventual touchdown point," said Aaron Stehura, deputy phase lead for entry, descent and landing. "You can see it's near the river delta that we've talked about."
Stehura also reflected on the moment the team saw the image of the rover from the perspective of the descent stage.
"This is something that we've never seen before. It was stunning and the team was awestruck. And, you know, there's just a feeling of victory that we're able to capture these and share them with the world."
The teams also shared a little insight about how they celebrated after the landing. Some members of the team enjoyed some ice cream at safe social distances outside, many virtual parties were enjoyed and team members slept the best they have in a long time, knowing Perseverance was safe.
Source: CNN