Relive the spectacular landing of the Mars rover exactly 3 years ago

Screenshot of actual footage of NASA’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars in 2021. NASA/JPL

It has been exactly three years since NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars in spectacular fashion.

Because Curiosity and others have reached the surface of Mars on previous missions, Perseverance is not the first NASA rover to land on the distant planet. But thanks to improved cameras, the landing footage is the most incredible yet, with multiple angles capturing the rover’s final landing in high definition:

Perseverance Rover’s Descent and Landing on Mars (Official NASA Video)

This incredible video was captured by a camera that was part of the rover’s entry, descent and landing equipment. β€œThe view includes a camera looking down from the spacecraft’s descent stage (a kind of rocket-powered jet pack that helps fly the rover to its landing site), a camera on the rover looking up on the descent stage, and a camera above the spacecraft’s descent stage. from the aeroshell (the capsule that protects the rover) looking up at the parachute, and a camera on the bottom of the rover looking down at the Martian surface,” the space agency said in comments accompanying the video.

NASA’s Mars team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California celebrated the third anniversary of Perseverance’s landing in a social media post on Sunday that shared some of the latest statistics about the rover’s mission.

JPL revealed that in the past 12 months, Perseverance has traveled more than six miles across Mars’ Jezero Crater and taken more than 116,000 images, all of which were sent back to the mission team on Earth for more detailed viewing.

Happy landing birthday, @NASAPersevere! πŸ₯³

What has our rover achieved in its third year on the Red Planet?

– Traveling more than 6 miles (~10.6 km)
– Surpassed 1,000 soles
– Spotted dust devil
– Take more than 116 thousand photos

Explore the explorer in 3D: pic.twitter.com/Jm6uTFjEAR

β€” NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) February 18, 2024

Perseverance’s activities include searching for evidence of ancient microbial life on the Red Planet. As part of its exploration, the rover has collected rock and soil samples that will be collected by the upcoming Mars Sample Return Mission and transported to Earth for careful analysis in laboratory conditions.

Attention should also be paid to Ingenuity, the small drone-like machine that Perseverance deployed to the Martian surface immediately after landing. In April 2021, Ingenuity made history by becoming the first craft to perform a powered, controlled flight on another planet β€” a remarkable achievement considering Mars’ extremely thin atmosphere. The helicopter performed much better than expected, flying into the sky 72 times over nearly three years before being taken out of service last month after suffering damage to one of its propellers.

As for Perseverance, the rover is expected to continue its work for years to come, a distinct possibility considering NASA’s other Mars rover, Curiosity, is still operational nearly 12 years after arriving there.

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