NASA Releases First Footage of Perseverance Mars Landing

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The sights and sounds of a completely alien world.

Over the course of the scientific progress, we’ve seen plenty of still images of the red planet, Mars. Previous rovers have been able to take simple snapshots, as well as more scientifically-minded data like radar images or seismographs. What we’re a bit lacking in, though, is actual video and audio recordings of the Martian surface. Previous rovers didn’t have advanced-enough audio-visual equipment that could both survive the trip from Earth and send information back. That’s all changed with the arrival of Perseverance on Mars.

In addition to its bevy of scientific equipment, Perseverance is equipped with a range of top-of-the-line audiovisual equipment, including multiple cameras and microphones. While it took a little time to retrieve the data after the landing last week, NASA was able to successfully retrieve the video footage of Perseverance’s landing and first tire tracks across the Martian desert. The video footage features a stunning view of the alien panorama and a fascinating glimpse of a world so unlike our own.

While the landing process was unfortunately a little too bumpy for the microphones to pick up any audio, once Perseverance was safely situated on the surface, they were actually able to record the sounds of Mars and send them back home. While it’s obviously very quiet, save for the ever-present hum of Perseverance’s motors, for a brief few seconds, you can actually hear the sound of a breeze across the desert sands.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to actually capture an event like the landing of a spacecraft on Mars,” said JPL Director Michael Watkins. “We will learn something by looking at the performance of the vehicle in these videos. But a lot of it is also to bring you along on our journey, our touchdown to Mars, and of course, our surface mission as well. These are really amazing videos.”

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