NASA releases first audio from Mars, video of landing

A video grab photo of the parachute used in the landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars

The US space agency NASA on Monday released the first audio from Mars, a faint crackling recording of wind captured by the Perseverance rover.

NASA also released the first video of the landing of the rover on the Red Planet.

A microphone did not work during the rover’s descent to the surface but it was able to capture audio once it landed on Mars.

NASA engineers played a short recording.

“What you hear there 10 seconds in is an actual wind gust on the surface of Mars picked up by the microphone and sent back to us here on Earth,” said Dave Gruel, lead engineer for the camera and microphone system on Perseverance.

The high-definition video clip, lasting three minutes and 25 seconds, shows the heat shield protecting the rover dropping away and the deployment of a massive red-and-white parachute.

It then shows the rover’s touchdown in Mars’ Jezero Crater in a cloud of dust.

“This is the first time we’ve ever been able to capture an event like the landing on Mars,” said Michael Watkins, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

“These are really amazing videos,” Watkins said. “We bingewatched them all weekend.”

Sounds From Mars: Includes Rover Self-Noise. Credit: NASA

Sounds From Mars: Filters Out Rover Self-Noise. Credit: NASA

Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science, said the video of Perseverance’s descent is “the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit.”

Jessica Samuels, Perseverance’s surface mission manager, said the rover was operating as expected so far.

“I am happy to report that Perseverance is healthy and is continuing with activities as we have been planning them,” Samuels said.

  • Perseverance Rover
    This high-resolution still image is part of a video taken by several cameras as NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. A camera aboard the descent stage captured this shot. A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust). Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (the European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these cached samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis. The Mars 2020 mission is part of a larger program that includes missions to the Moon as a way to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance and Curiosity rovers. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • This NASA handout photo shows an image from NASA's Perseverance rover after it landed on the surface of Mars
    This NASA handout photo shows an image from NASA’s Perseverance rover after it landed on the surface of Mars

She said the team was preparing for a flight by the rover’s small helicopter.

“The team is still evaluating,” she said. “We have not locked in a site yet.”

Perseverance was launched on July 30, 2020 and landed on the surface of Mars on Thursday.

‘7 minutes of terror’: Perseverance rover’s nail-biting landing phase

More information: … -landing-first-audio

© 2021 AFP

NASA releases first audio from Mars, video of landing (2021, February 22)
retrieved 22 February 2021

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