NASA officials released never-before-seen views of a spacecraft landing on another planet Monday, showcasing multi-angle replays recorded by ruggedized high-definition cameras mounted on the Perseverance rover last week when it safely touched down on Mars.
The mission’s entry, descent, and landing cameras recorded video as Perseverance made its way to a landing site in Jezero Crater, a location that was home to a lake of liquid water more than three billion years ago. The imagery brought to life the rover’s high-stakes landing maneuvers, showing the mission’s supersonic parachute blowing open in an instant, followed by separation of the craft’s heat shield, and a final descent powered by eight throttleable rocket engines
Finally, the descent stage rocket pack lowered the one-ton rover to the Martian surface on three nylon bridles. The rocket engines slowed the descent to a crawl in the final seconds before touchdown, whipping up a cloud of dust before the descent stage cut the cords to the rover and flew a safe distance away to impact the Red Planet.
Matt Wallace, deputy project manager on the Perseverance mission, said ground teams at JPL were “like kids in a candy store” as images from the entry, descent, and landing, ...