NASA, Mars 2020, Human mission to Mars, Rover, Space leases new images from Mars
This rover is an epic effort it. It represents um, eight years of hundreds of engineers at the laboratory, thousands around the world, a total of over 4 000 human years of investment. When we do such investments, we do them for humanity and we do them as a gesture of our humanity. This is an image of the rover, perseverance slung beneath the descent stage, its propulsion backpack, as it is being lowered to the surface of mars. You can see the dust kicked up by the rover’s engines, we’re, probably about two meters or so above the surface of mars. We’Re checking the timing of this image, it’s just hot off the press. You can see the mechanical bridles that hold the uh rover underneath the descent stage has three straight lines: heading down to the top deck and then the curly electrical umbilical that is taking all of the electrical signals from the descent stage down to the computer inside the Belly of the rover, in fact the ones and zeroes that represent this image, will travel down that uh umbilical before it is cut and the rover is left safe. On the surface of mars, this image was acquired by the mars reconnaissance, orbiter or mro, one of our orbiters that’s orbiting around mars. You can see here in the zoomed in part of the image in the upper right, our spacecraft with a fully inflated parachute and hanging underneath it. Our protective entry capsule, like adam, said with the descent stay the uh yeah the descent stage, download image, uh we’re, still figuring out the exact timing of when uh.
This image was taken as well uh, so uh it’s, even possible uh that we had already um uh. Come out of the uh of the protective entry, capsule uh and we’re coming down on rockets to the surface uh. But we we haven’t quite analyzed this enough to figure that out uh. If you look uh just below uh to the little circle. Uh that you see on the screen uh, this was our eventual touchdown point um. You can see it’s uh it’s near uh, the delta uh, that we’ve talked about uh that’s, so interesting to the scientists and we’ll get some updates uh on that uh coming up here, but just to give you an idea of all of the things that had to Go correctly for us to make it to this point the point that that image was acquired. We had already undergone entry into the martian atmosphere right on time, traveling at 5.3 kilometers per second, we have our. We already had undergone the searing heat uh of entry, uh and pulled uh somewhere around uh 11 g’s of force, as we decelerated quickly while entering the atmosphere, and we had steered our path through the atmosphere of mars, using thrusters lift from our vehicle so that we Could zero in on our eventual target here in jezreel crater? This was an image captured by our rear hazard avoidance camera. So this is looking backwards from the perseverance rover’s perspective. When i look at this image.
First of all, i feel a great sense of relief and, second of all, i see a landing site that looks relatively safe, free of boulders free of cliffs free of great slopes and that’s. What we spent a lot of time and effort um, you know making sure that we identified those spots on mars so that we could safely set the rover down in in what we considered the best possible spot. So if we go to the next image, we’ll see again these fantastic color images from the engineering cameras – and this is one of the first views we have on the surface and and while this area didn’t have a lot of rocks and that the engineers were thankful For that for safe landing, we have enough for the scientists to really sink their teeth into, and one of the things that the scientists have first started to think about when we look at images like this is what the rocks are made of and what they look Like and so we’re picking out, different colors and tones and textures to try to figure out what these rocks might represent and what depositional process might have put these rocks on the surface of mars. If we go to the next image, this is a close up, and this is a really interesting image from a geological perspective. So what we see there by the the edge of the wheel is a rock and one of the first things we noticed was that it has a lot of holes or bugs in it, and there are a number of different geological processes that can make holes in A rock like that, and so the science team is now thinking about what this might mean, and one of the questions we’ll ask first, is whether these rocks represent a volcanic or sedimentary origin, and both of those would be equally exciting to the team.