Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

NASA Releases First Video and Audio of Mars Landing

This is among the first high-resolution, color image to be sent back by the Hazard Cameras on the underside of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover after its landing on Jezero crater on Mars on February 18, 2021. NASA / Getty Images

U..S space agency NASA has released a video and the first ever audio clip from Mars, a faint wind sound captured by the Perseverance rover.

Several images of the landing were released earlier, but it took days for the video signal to be relayed to Earth.

The 3 minute 25 second video clip released on Monday shows the last few kilometers of Perseverance's trip.


After the parachute opens during the descent, the spacecraft touches down on the dusty red surface of the planet.

"These are really amazing videos," Michael Watkins, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said at a briefing for reporters. "This is the first time we've ever been able to capture an event like the landing on Mars. We all watched them over the weekend many, many times."

NASA also released several new higher resolution panoramic images during the press conference.


What Does Mars Sound Like?

Though the two onboard microphones weren't turned on during the descent, the rover was able to capture audio once it landed.

The short audio clip may not be spectacular, but it is the first sound recording from another planet.

NASA is building a "Martian playlist," collected on the website, Sounds of Mars.

"Stay tuned," said NASA. "We may soon hear the sounds of another world."

Mission Update

The newly launched rover is operating as expected, said Jessica Samuels, Perseverance's surface mission manager.

"I am happy to report that Perseverance is healthy," she said.

In another mission update, the small helicopter Ingenuity, which was delivered by the rover, sent its first status report to the control center in Pasadena, California. According to NASA, it too appears to be "functioning perfectly."

Still attached to the underside of Perseverance, the helicopter will begin exploring Mars in 30 to 60 days, offering viewers a bird's-eye view of the surface.

It would be the first flight of an air vehicle over another planet.

What's Next?

Perseverance's main mission is to search for traces of past microbial life on Mars and study the planet's climate and geology.

The rover itself weighs about 2,200 pounds and is the size of a small car.

On Thursday it set off on another mission, a risky maneuver to a dried-up lake called Jezero Crater. With a diameter of about 28 miles, Perseverance will explore the crater over the next two years.

Reposted with permission from Deutsche Welle.

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