« Something we’ve never seen before » — the Mars rover returned to a selfie from the moment before landing

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — NASA scientists on Friday provided stunning early images from the picture’s perfect landing Mars Rover perseverance, Including a selfie of the six-wheeled vehicle dangling over a roof Red planet Moments before landing.
The color photo, which will likely become an instant classic among the most memorable images from the history of spaceflight, was taken by a camera attached to the rocket.Sky crane«The landing stage is directly above the rover, where on Thursday the vehicle-sized spacecraft was lowered into the soil of Mars.
The image was unveiled by mission managers during an online news feed from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles less than 24 hours after landing.
The picture, which looks at the rover, shows the entire vehicle suspended from three unfastened cables from the sky lift, alongside a «secret» communications wire. Swirls of dust blown off by the crane Rocket The defenses are also visible.
Seconds later, the rover was gently planted on its wheels, its ropes snapped, and the crane set off — mission completed — crashing a safe distance away, though not before the images and other data collected during the descent were transferred to the Rover for safekeeping.
Astonishing for its clarity and sense of movement, the Dangling Science Lab image is the first close-up image of a spacecraft landing on Mars, or any planet outside Earth.
“This is something we’ve never seen before,” described Aaron Stehora, deputy captain of the mission’s landing and landing team, describing himself and his colleagues as “astonished” upon first viewing the photo.
immediately ICONIC
Adam Stelzner, chief engineer for the Perseverance Project at JPL, said he found the image instantly iconic, and could be compared to a snapshot. Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin Standing on the Moon in 1969, or Voyager 1 images of Saturn in 1980.
He said the scenes are linked to a historical moment that represents years of work for thousands of people.
He said, «I came to the surface of Mars. You are sitting there, seven meters from the surface of the rover, and looking down.» «It’s very exhilarating, and it evokes these other images from our experience as humans move into our solar system.»
The photo was captured at the end of the so-called «Seven Minutes of Terror» sequence that brought perseverance from the top of Mars’ atmosphere, traveling at 12,000 miles per hour, to a gentle landing on the floor of a wide basin called Jezero Crater.
Next week, NASA hopes to provide more photos and videos — some of which may be audio — captured by all six cameras installed on the descending spacecraft, which show more sky lift maneuvers, as well as the supersonic parachute deployment that preceded it.
Mission Strategy Director Pauline Hwang said the rover itself «is doing great and healthy on Mars, and it’s still doing great and great.»
The spacecraft landed about two kilometers from tall cliffs at the base of an ancient river delta carved into the corner of the crater billions of years ago, when Mars was warmer, wetter, and hospitable to life.
Scientists say the site is ideal for pursuing the primary goal of perseverance — to search for fossilized traces of microbial life preserved in sediments thought to have been deposited around the long-vanished delta and lake that fed them.
Rock samples excavated from Martian soil will be stored on the surface for eventual recovery and delivered to Earth by two future robotic missions to the Red Planet, early in 2031.
Another color photo published on Friday, taken moments after the rover arrived, shows a rocky expanse of terrain around the landing site and what appears to be delta cliffs in the distance.
Huang said the mission surface team will spend the coming days and weeks disassembling, dismantling and testing the vehicle’s robot arm, communication antennas and other equipment, aligning tools and updating the vehicle’s software.
It said it would be about nine «sols,» or Mars days, before the rover was ready for its first spin test.
One of the tasks of perseverance before embarking on the search for signs of microbial life is to deploy a miniature helicopter that has taken it to Mars for an unprecedented test flight beyond Earth. But Huang said the effort was still two months away.

READ  A jaw-dropping fossil find that has a dinosaur sitting on a full set of eggs

Olga Dmitrieva

Любитель алкоголя. Возмутитель спокойствия. Интроверт. Студент. Любитель социальных сетей. Веб-ниндзя. Поклонник Бэкона. Читатель

Добавить комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован.