NASA's Perseverance rover beams back again spectacular new images

21 February, 2021
NASA on Fri released stunning new photos from Perseverance, including among the rover appearing gently reduced to the top of Mars by a couple of cables, the very first time such a viewpoint has been captured.

The high-resolution even now was extracted from a training video taken by the descent stage of the spacecraft that had transported the rover from Earth.

At that time, the descent stage was using its six-engined jetpack to slow to a quickness around 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) per hour within the "skycrane maneuver," the ultimate phase of landing.

"You can see the dirt kicked up by the rover's motors," said Adam Steltzner, Perseverance's chief engineer, who estimated the shot was taken about two meters (six legs) roughly above the ground.

The three straight lines are mechanical bridles positioning the rover within the descent stage, while the curly cable was used to transmit the info from the cameras to Perseverance.

When the rover touched straight down, it cut the 21 foot-long (6.4 meter-extended) cables, allowing the descent level to fly away for its own safe landing.

Another new image, taken simply by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, captures Perseverance since it was parachuting straight down through the ambiance at a huge selection of miles an hour.

Perseverance has also had the opportunity to upload its first high-resolution, color photography showing the flat area it landed on in the Jezero Crater, where a river and deep lake existed billions of years ago.

Another color image shows among the rover's six wheels, with several honeycombed rocks regarded as a lot more than 3.6 billion years old lying next to it.

"Among the questions we'll ask primary is going to be whether these rocks represent a volcanic or sedimentary origin," said NASA deputy task scientist Katie Stack Morgan.

Volcanic rocks in particular could be dated with very high precision after the samples are brought back to Earth about another return mission -- a thrilling development from a planetary science perspective.

As the initially images came in, "it had been exhilarating, the team went wild," said mission procedures system supervisor Pauline Hwang.

"The science workforce immediately started seeking at all those rocks and zooming in and heading, 'What is that!' -- it couldn't have been better."

The first two images were released on Thursday shortly after the rover landed, however they were lower resolution and in black-and-white as a result of the limited info rate available.

NASA hopes to have significantly more high-resolution photographs and videos in the coming days, but doesn't know yet if it has successfully recorded sound on Mars for the first time using microphones.

That could possibly be known later on this weekend or early in a few days, said Steltzner.