NASA has released a video showing the Perseverance rover landing on Mars. The three-and-a-half-minute video starts when the rover's parachute deploys at supersonic speeds about seven miles above the surface of the red planet. As the rover continued its descent, a free-flying jetpack used rocket engines to decelerate the craft before breaking free and using thrusters to move it away from the rover.
The rover was then lowered on nylon cables about 25 feet below the descent stage as it approached the surface. The video ends with the rover successfully touching down inside of the Jezero Crater at a speed of just 1.6 mph.
"This video of Perseverance's descent is the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, in a statement. "It should become mandatory viewing for young women and men who not only want to explore other worlds and build the spacecraft that will take them there but also want to be part of the diverse teams achieving all the audacious goals in our future."
NASA also shared an audio clip featuring a few seconds of the Martian breeze blowing. The original clip contains the mechanical sounds of the rover, but a second clip was created in which those sounds were filtered out.
Perseverance is equipped with a host of scientific instruments that scientists will use to study the geology of Mars. They are hoping to find signs of ancient microbial life in the crater, which they believe used to be flooded with water.
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