The American space agency on February 22 released a video that documents in great detail the arrival of the Perseverance rover on Mars . The exceptional document is accompanied by some audio files on which a series of sounds are recorded.
Listening to the file reveals the presence of a double noise: the acute one deriving from the rover and the bewitching and utopian gust produced by the Martian wind .
The video is just over three minutes long and shows the images taken by the rover from different angles, after its entry into the Martian atmosphere. According to Michael Watkins, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where the rover was built, it is the first time that man has managed to capture such particular images of an event that will remain in the annals of history.
The seven minutes of terror
The terrible seven minutes that accompanied Perseverance’s descent to Mars and left the world with bated breath began with the opening of the heat shield. Its task was to protect the rover that was entering the atmosphere at a speed of 20,000 km / h.
The video documents the progressive slowdown of the vehicle by eight retro-rockets and the sudden rise of Martian dust that is released into the air by the rover’s engines. The images do not stop there because they document a sudden stop of the vehicle which is interrupted by a final and decisive final push that catapults it 700 meters ahead.
Allen Chen, NASA chief in charge of the landing phase, said “We have dreamed of this video for years.”
The sound of the wind
At first at NASA they had hoped to also be able to record the sound of the initial phase of the Mars 2020 mission , which unfortunately the rover’s microphones were unable to capture.
Yet, there was an unexpected surprise around the corner. Upon landing on the red planet, Perseverance recorded the sound of the Martian wind, an event that tastes incredible. The Space Agency said they were confident in believing that they could find other hisses captured by the rover’s microphones even if their life expectancy is severely limited by the prohibitive temperatures of the planet.
The landing on Mars by the Perseverance rover lays the foundation for a near future in which, according to NASA, it will be possible to start sending astronauts to the red planet. Moreover, the recent discoveries on cyanobacteria and their role on Mars portend a future full of surprises.