After the rover Perseverance The NASA mission will successfully land on the surface of Mars last Thursday and send its first black and white photo, engineers and scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the US space agency have provided their first color images.
One of them has been captured from the stage or device of descent to the Martian surface, and is part of a video, although it is still being transmitted to Earth and processing. This recording is one of Perseverance’s advancements over its predecessor, Curiosity, which sent a movie stop-motion (frame by frame) of its landing.
Unlike previous rovers, most Perseverance cameras capture color images. Upon landing, two of the Hazard cameras (Hazcams) captured views from the front and rear of the rover, showing one of its wheels on Martian land.
One of the six wheels aboard the Perseverance rover after setting foot on Mars./ NASA / JPL-Caltech
Perseverance was also captured from space by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) space probe, which used a special high-resolution camera to capture the spacecraft as it parachuted toward the Cráter Lake.
Photograph taken by the MRO probe while Perseverance headed towards Jezero Crater./ NASA / JPL-Caltech / University of Arizona
This Friday small pyrotechnic charges were scheduled to be fired to release the Perseverance mast (the ‘head’ of the rover) fixed on your cover. Navigation cameras (Navcams), used for driving, take panoramic views of the car deck. rover and its surroundings. These Navcams share space on the mast with two scientific cameras: the Mastcam-Z, with zoom, and a laser instrument called the SuperCam.
Today the first videos captured from Perseverance will be offered, and in the following days, engineers will carefully study the system data of the rover, they will update their software and begin testing their various instruments. In the coming weeks, Perseverance will also put his robotic arm to the test and take his first short trip.
First high resolution color image sent by Hazard cameras./ NASA / JPL-Caltech
It will take at least a month or two for Perseverance to find a flat place to drop off Ingenuity, the mini helicopter attached to the ‘belly’ of the rover, and even longer before it finally ‘takes a walk’ or roll, beginning its science mission and searching for its first sample of Martian rock and sediment.
About the mission
A key objective of Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including searching for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover It will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and store Martian rocks and regoliths (broken rocks and dust).
Subsequent missions by NASA in cooperation with ESA (the European Space Agency) will send spacecraft to Mars to collect these stored samples and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.
Perseverance is the fifth rover placed by NASA on Mars, after Sojouner in 1997, followed by Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity, which have already sent a multitude of photographs and films stop-motion of the red planet.
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