Last Thursday (Feb 18th) was a memorable day as the US landed yet another rover onto the surface of Mars. The new Mars Perseverance rover was slingshotted at the red planet with a direct non-stop landing to the surface, equipped with both a parachute and jet pack to make sure it experienced a flawless landing.
A flawless landing indeed, as it turned out to be an incredible experience and complete success. Part of what will soon become a network of remote devices that will collect samples from the red planet and send them back to Earth using small rockets and a satellite orbiting the planet above. For now, the rover serves as the first step in exploration and sample collection. The rest to come in future missions as further pieces of the intricate process as developed and launched.
The live experience of the landing (delayed due to the distance, so it wasn’t technically live as it had already occurred by the time the data reached us) featured computer-generated graphics to help visualize all of the steps it was taking to get to the surface. At the time, there wasn’t any real video footage since there was no one on the ground to capture it happening and the on-board video/imagery takes a lot longer to make its way back). So that was all you had until moments later, Perseverance sent its first still image as a confirmation.
Since then, NASA has received the video data from the rover and has compiled it against everything that was experienced on Thursday. To give everyone, finally, a 4K high-definition view from the rover itself and everything it was seeing. This includes the amazing jet pack that Nasa built to help soften its landing. Well-needed due to its weight of 2,260 lbs.
So ready yourself for some incredible 4K footage of Mars, and watch it all in the following video:
If you missed the stream of the actual landing, you can find it here.