NASA Scientists Reveal Early Images From The Perseverance Landing On Mars
NASA scientists have revealed early images from the landing of the Mars rover, Perseverance. The images include a selfie of the six-wheeled vehicle dangling just above the surface of Mars just moments before the touchdown.
Mission managers during an online news briefing webcast from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) revealed the image less than 24 hours after the landing. The selfie shows the rover suspended from three cables unspooled from the sky crane and a communications cord holding it.
The image was taken by a camera mounted on the rocket-powered “sky crane” descent-stage just above the rover. It was taken just as the car-sized space vehicle was being lowered onto the soil of the red planet.
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“This is something we’ve never seen before,” Aaron Stehura, a deputy lead for the mission’s descent and landing team said. He described himself and colleagues as “awe-struck” after first viewing the image.
The chief engineer for the Perseverance project at JPL, Adam Steltzner, said he found the image instantly iconic. He then compared it to the shot of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin standing on the moon in 1969, or the Voyager 1 probe’s images of Saturn in 1980. To him, the viewer sees a landmark moment representing years of work by thousands of individuals.
“You are brought to the surface of Mars. You’re sitting there, seven meters off the surface of the rover looking down. It’s absolutely exhilarating, and it is evocative of those other images from our experience as human beings moving out into our solar system,” he said.
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