NASA releases video of the probe landing on Mars

CAPE CAÑAVERAL, Florida, USA (AP) – NASA released the first high-quality video of a spacecraft landing on Mars on Monday, a three-minute clip showing a huge orange and white parachute opening rapidly and red dust rising as the rocket engines landed on it. the probe on the Martian surface.

The shots were so good – and the images so impressive – that some members of the rover team said they felt like they were on board.

“I get goose bumps every time I see it, it’s just amazing,” said Dave Gruel, head of the camera crew for entry and descent.

The Perseverance probe landed near a dry river delta in Jezero crater last Thursday to search for signs of ancient microscopic life. After spending the weekend watching video of the descent and landing over and over again, the team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California shared it at a press conference.

“These videos and these images are what we have dreamed of,” said Al Chen, who was in charge of the landing team.

Six standard color cameras were used for entry, descent and landing, with up and down shots from different vantage points. All worked well except one. The only microphone turned on for the landing failed, but NASA did get a few bits of sound once the probe was already on the surface: the hum of the rover’s systems and gusts of wind.

Flight controllers were delighted with the thousands of images transmitted, and also with the surprising good condition of the probe, the largest and most capable of NASA to date. He will spend the next two years exploring the river delta and drilling rocks that could contain evidence of life from 3,000 to 4,000 million years ago. The cylindrical samples will be set aside for return to Earth in a decade.