Perseverance sends its first photos from Mars: the Martian surface in color and in high resolution
Last week the NASA Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars. A landing that was the icing on the cake for the NASA team that has worked for years on the mission and that was completed autonomously millions of kilometers from Earth. Now, the rover has sent a few pictures showing where it is and how it is.
If something continues to surprise about Perseverance, it is his complex and at the same time successful landing. Hundreds of millions of kilometers from Earth, NASA simply cannot directly control the rover, in fact, every command or signal it receives. takes eleven minutes to be received and processed. The descent to the surface of Mars is seven minutes of anguish in which the team of engineers on Earth has no idea what is happening and just hopes that everything goes well.
It was good. The rover made the landing completely autonomously and without any problem. It did so in part thanks to NASA’s ingenious Sky Crane system, a 16-thruster device that kept the rover hanging to gently descend to landfall. At that point the ropes were released and the thruster flew away from Jezero crater where Perseverance will explore for the next few months.
In an image shared by NASA we can see the spectacular descent captured from the Sky Crane and showing Perseverance hanging:
On the other hand, a photograph capturada desde la sonda Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter allows us to see the rover with its parachute descending into the crater:
From Martian soil
Once the rover touched down, it sent a quick, blurry little image as confirmation. It wasn’t a big deal, but enough to confirm that all was well. Hours later and with some calm the rover dedicated itself to taking better photographs and sending them to Earth.
Perseverance is a one-ton rover packed with high precision instruments and scientific tools for collect samples from Mars. But it also has a total of 19 cameras and two microphones to capture all possible information from the environment. One of these cameras has sent a photograph where we can see one of the rover’s wheels and part of the rocky Martian soil:
In another of these photographs we can see the wide Martian horizon in high resolution and color. On the ground you can also see the shadow of the rover and in the background some of the valleys that surround the crater where the rover is now: