NASA’s Perseverance rover, which landed on the floor of Mars final Thursday (Feb. 18), simply beamed down its first panoramic picture of the Martian floor, the company reported right this moment (Feb. 22).The car-sized rover snapped the panorama on Feb. 20, 2021, simply two days after touchdown in Jezero Crater, an historical lake on the Purple Planet’s floor, utilizing its onboard Navigation Cameras (or Navcams). The panorama was created right here on Earth with six particular person photos taken by the interplanetary robotic’s cameras.
Perseverance, or “Percy,” as some name the craft, landed final Thursday afternoon; mission management at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California obtained the sign at 3:55 p.m. EST (2055 GMT) confirming that the rover had efficiently touched down on the Martian floor as a part of the company’s Mars 2020 mission. (The affirmation arrived about 11 minutes after Perseverance really landed as a result of that is how lengthy it took the radio sign to journey from Mars to Earth.)
Perseverance rover’s Mars touchdown: Every thing it’s good to know
Associated: NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission in photos
In the present day, the company launched the primary video from the rover, taken each by cameras on the rover itself and by cameras on the Skycrane and parachute programs which helped to get the craft safely to the planet’s floor.
Along with the beautiful video, NASA additionally launched a “firehose of knowledge,” Justin Maki, a Perseverance imaging scientist and instrument operations crew chief, mentioned right this moment throughout a information convention. Amongst that knowledge is a slew of unimaginable photos from the rover’s first days on Mars, together with this panorama.
Perseverance will proceed to take photographs and movies on Mars, and the rover may also file, for the primary time ever, audio utilizing a microphone on the floor of Mars. The rover, which is slated to final at the least two years on the Purple Planet (although earlier rovers have far outlived their anticipated finish dates), is taking detailed and plentiful photos for plenty of causes.
With detailed photos of the Martian floor, scientists again on Earth can discover what varieties of rocks and materials are literally in Jezero Crater. They’ll additionally use these photos to assist one of many mission’s major science aims: to search out proof of historical life on Mars.
Scientists assume Jezero Crater was as soon as an enormous lake and delta system, roughly 3.5 billion years in the past. Due to this, and since life as we all know it on Earth will depend on the presence of issues like water, they estimate that if life did exist on Mars at the moment it doubtless lived on this historical crater. Which means, within the panorama picture taken by Perseverance, you’re looking at an historical lake mattress the place Martian life may as soon as have thrived.
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