NASA released a video of the persistent Mars rover as it descended through the Martian atmosphere and landed as planned on Jezero Crater last Thursday.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, David Gruel of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said the video team kept their expectations modest: “We get what we get and we don’t get upset.”
What they got is among the most exciting images in the history of space exploration.
The EDL Cam system consists of six small cameras ready for use (entry, landing and landing). They survived the flight and worked flawlessly, capturing the parachute spread in the spacecraft, the separation of the heat shield, the power drop, and the gentle deposition of the Tenacity Rover on the surface of Mars.
There are unusual details in the video. The spacecraft swings slightly under its parachute, then locks when the lander propellers take over and the parachute is removed. The camera in the mobile composite ratios appears and is lowered with three cables. Camera in Rover captures the same scene from below; Once on the surface, the cables are pulled and the descent unit flies away.
There were also two microphones on board the spacecraft. Gruel said they failed to capture the sound of the landing, but once one of the microphones appeared on the surface – for the first time – sounds from another planet were recorded. The clip released by NASA contains a quiet hum from Rover operations, and a storm of Mars wind sweeps through the probe. Another clip cancels the Rover’s sound, leaving nothing but a breeze.
Hear: the voice of Mars
Gruel said a young woman who was touring the JPL years ago was the inspiration for installing microphones. She said her sister suffers from poor eyesight and cannot see NASA photos. Gruel thought the sound would perhaps allow her to experience the marvel of space exploration.
Project scientists have also released more color images of the spacecraft on the surface, and an image taken from the orbit of Mars showing the effects of a landing.