Wow, what a view.
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 at the 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 acquired 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 truly landed as a result of that is how lengthy it took the radio sign to journey from Mars to Earth.)
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Associated: NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission in photos
Immediately, 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 methods which helped to get the craft safely to the planet’s floor.
Along with the gorgeous video, NASA additionally launched a “firehose of information,” Justin Maki, a Perseverance imaging scientist and instrument operations staff chief, mentioned at the moment throughout a information convention. Amongst that information is a slew of unbelievable 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 even document, for the primary time ever, audio utilizing a microphone on the floor of Mars. The rover, which is slated to final at the very least two years on the Purple Planet (although earlier rovers have far outlived their anticipated finish dates), is taking detailed and plentiful photos for a variety of causes.
With detailed photos of the Martian floor, scientists again on Earth can discover what sorts of rocks and materials are literally in Jezero Crater. They’ll additionally use these photos to help one of many mission’s main science targets: to seek 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 probably 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 might as soon as have thrived.
Electronic mail Chelsea Gohd at [email protected] or observe her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Comply with us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb.