In the final minutes, before landing, nasa control showed animations of the rover descending through the martian atmosphere, deploying its parachute and then finally, touching down. We even got to see the very first still images taken by perseverance on the martian surface. It took some time for video to get beamed back from mars, but now we’ve been given a front row seat to see how it all went down thanks to cameras packed on board. There are actually 23 cameras on board the perseverance rover they’re designed to do everything from helping with navigation to detecting hazards there’s, even a cash cam. Just to give us a view of rock samples collected from the planet’s surface. But among all that hardware, nasa packed in six cameras dedicated to recording full color video of the entry descent and landing from every possible angle. There were cameras mounted on the protective back shell of the spacecraft, which gave us a view of the parachute during entry. Then there was a camera mounted on the descent stage, looking down onto the rover, as well as a camera on the rover looking back up to the descent stage as they parted ways. Finally, a camera mounted on the bottom of the rover captured footage looking down on mars as the rover landed. All these cameras showed us the entry, descent and landing in amazing detail from the spacecraft’s heat shield, dropping away down to the dust blowing on the surface of mars as the rover descended, and it was one hell of a ride.

Nasa calls the seven minutes it takes to go through the atmosphere and land on mars, the seven minutes of terror. Why such a terrifying name well, that entry, descent and landing is where a lot of things can go wrong. Think of it! This way after taking off perseverance, was just zooming through the vacuum of space safe in its protective aeroshell, but to land on mars. It has to slow down fast when perseverance reached the martian atmosphere. It was travelling at about 20, 000, kilometers or 12 and a half thousand miles an hour when it was about 12 kilometers above the surface of mars that’s. When we got confirmation that perseverance had deployed its massive 70 foot wide parachute and thanks to cameras built on the spacecraft, we got to see it happen once the parachute started, slowing things more rapidly, the heat shield separated exposing cameras on the rover itself, meaning the rover Could see mars for the first time and that’s when things got really clever, perseverance’s landing site, jezreel crater is about 28 miles wide and full of rocky boulders and steep cliffs nasa couldn’t guide the rover from here on earth. The communication delay would be too long. So the spacecraft used something called terrain: relative navigation to capture images of the martian surface and compare them to maps of jezreel crater to find the best place to land in the final seconds before touchdown. When perseverance was about 20 meters above the surface, it did what’s known as the sky crane maneuver, where the rover itself was lowered down from the descent stage on a set of cables, getting its legs and wheels ready to land and then boom touchdown perseverance had landed.

The rover had one more surprise in store before launch nasa installed a microphone on perseverance to capture the sounds of the mission. Sadly, a communication error meant we didn’t get any audio of the landing itself, but nasa did manage to capture audio on the surface of the red planet. After the rover had landed. You can hear the sound of the rover wearing away and then, in the background, the sound of martian winds when nasa tuned out the sounds of the rover. You can hear those winds perfectly. The first sounds recorded on mars and the good news is there’s. Still more footage to come if everything goes to plan, we’ll, see images of perseverance roving around on mars, surveying the red planet and collecting its rock samples, as it searches for signs of ancient life and then we’ll, hopefully see another big. First, the launch of the ingenuity helicopter perseverance’s, very own autonomous drone and the first spacecraft humans will ever fly on another world. There is so much more to get out of this mission and back here on earth. We all have a front row seat if you’re, just as excited as we are about this whole rover mission drop a rocket emoji in the comments below and remember to stay tuned to. Cnet we’ll have plenty more space news for you, including that very exciting ingenuity.