What is it like to land on Mars?
Now you can see who you are in captivating, high definition clarity.
On Monday, NASA released a video captured by the agency’s spacecraft Perseverance as it fell through the Martian atmosphere on Thursday last week, ending with the rover’s successful arrival on the Martian surface. It is the first video of its kind to be sent back from the planet to earth.
It took a while for the full video to get to Earth – the same frustration many people experienced waiting to download huge files. There is no high speed internet connection between Earth and Mars. Instead, the data had to be relayed by orbiting spacecraft that passed overhead. The speed at which the data is transferred was considered fast by internet users on earth a few decades ago, but today the upload rate can seem icy, especially if the file is a high definition video.
Persistence settled in Jezero crater last week and will soon begin looking for chemical traces of ancient Mars microbes, if they ever exist. On Friday, NASA revealed some of the first color images the mission had sent back to Earth, including an image of the rover being lowered to the surface by the sky crane, a portion of the spacecraft that resembles a jetpack.
None of the spaceships previously sent to Mars had cameras that could take pictures at video rates. Instead, they took multiple photos through color filters, which could then be put together to form a color photo. And while sequences of black and white images of Mars were previously inserted into video clips, Perseverance’s films are videos in the traditional sense of the word.
This is a developing story.