New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In another significant development for the astronomers, NASA's Perseverance Rover, which landed on the Martian surface on February 18, has sent a new video from Mars' Jezero Crater. The high-intensity microphone installed on the rover also has provided the first audio recordings from the surface of the Red Planet.

The video, sent by Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, chronicles major milestones during the final minutes of its entry, descent, and landing (EDL) on the Red Planet as the spacecraft plummeted, parachuted and rocketed toward the surface of Mars. From the moment of parachute inflation, the camera system covers the entirety of the descent process of the Perseverance Rover.

The 3-minute-long video, shot by the high-definition cameras aboard the Perseverance Rover, starts 11 kilometres above the Martian surface and showed the supersonic deployment of the most massive parachute ever sent to another planet. The video ended with the Perseverance Rover touching down the Jezero crater on Mars.

A microphone attached to the rover did not collect usable data during the descent, but the commercial off-the-shelf device survived the highly dynamic descent to the surface and obtained sounds from Jezero Crater on Feb. 20. About 10 seconds into the 60-second recording, a Martian breeze is audible for a few seconds, as are mechanical sounds of the rover operating on the surface.

The world's most intimate view of a Mars landing begins about 230 seconds after the spacecraft entered the Red Planet's upper atmosphere at 12,500 mph (20,100 kph). The video opens in black, with the camera lens still covered within the parachute compartment.

Within less than a second, the spacecraft's parachute deploys and transforms from a compressed 18-by-26 inch (46-by-66 centimeter) cylinder of nylon, Technora, and Kevlar into a fully inflated 70.5-foot-wide (21.5-meter-wide) canopy - the largest ever sent to Mars. The tens of thousands of pounds of force that the parachute generates in such a short period stresses both the parachute and the vehicle.

The video also captures the heat shield dropping away after protecting Perseverance from scorching temperatures during its entry into the Martian atmosphere. The downward view from the rover sways gently like a pendulum as the descent stage, with Perseverance attached, hangs from the back shell and parachute.

Later, the cameras capture the descent stage performing the sky crane manoeuvre over the landing site - the plume of its rocket engines kicking up dust and small rocks that have likely been in place for billions of years. The footage ends with Perseverance's aluminum wheels making contact with the surface at 1.61 mph (2.6 kilometres per second), and then pyrotechnically fired blades sever the cables connecting it to the still-hovering descent stage.

Five commercial off-the-shelf cameras located on three different spacecraft components collected the imagery. Two cameras on the back shell, which encapsulated the rover on its journey, took pictures of the parachute inflating.

A camera on the descent stage provided a downward view - including the top of the rover - while two on the rover chassis offered both upward and downward perspectives. In the coming days, a 360-degree panorama of Jezero by the Mastcam-Z should be transmitted down, providing the highest resolution look at the road ahead.

 

(With ANI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan