NASA’s Perseverance rover landed in Jezero Crater on Mars on February 18. It’s already returned several stunning photos and videos. The Mars mission is set to launch a helicopter into the Martian skies, search for evidence of life, and kick off a decade-long mission to collect geologic samples. Perseverance joined the United Arab Emirates’ Hope probe and China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft, which also arrived at the Red Planet earlier this month.
After a nearly 7-month journey, NASA’s Perseverance rover safely landed on Mars on February 18. The rover’s Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) cameras have already snapped some incredible photos and—for the first time ever—recorded videos of its journey to the Martian surface.
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“We collected a little over 30 gigabytes of information and over 23,000 images of the vehicle descending down to the surface of Mars,” Dave Gruel, the EDL camera lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press briefing on February 22. “It gives me goosebumps every time I see it,” Gruel said.
Same here. The videos that Perseverance collected as it barreled toward Mars’s surface are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. See for yourself:
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So what are you actually watching? Let’s break these clips down.
NASA’s Perseverance rover deploys its parachute. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The first clip of the video shows the rover’s parachute deploying. “You can get a sense, really, of how violent that parachute deployment and placement are,” Perseverance EDL lead Al Chen, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in the press conference.
As the rover speeds through
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