5/5 Mars rover sends home movie of daredevil descent to landing on red planet © Reuters. The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera 2/5

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - NASA scientists on Monday unveiled first-of-a-kind home movies of last week's' daredevil Mars rover landing, vividly showing its supersonic parachute inflation over the red planet and a rocket-powered hovercraft lowering the science lab on wheels to the surface.

The footage was recorded on Thursday by a series of cameras mounted at different angles of the multi-stage spacecraft as it carried the rover, named Perseverance, through the thin Martian atmosphere to a gentle touchdown inside a vast basin called Jezero Crater.

Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, called seeing the footage "the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit."

The video montage was played for reporters tuning in to a news briefing webcast from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NYSE:LH) (JPL) near Los Angeles four days after the historic landing of the most advanced astrobiology probe ever sent to another world.

NASA also presented a brief audio clip captured by microphones on the rover after its arrival that included the murmur of a light wind gust - the first ever recorded on the fourth planet from the sun.

JPL imaging scientist Justin Maki said NASA's stationary landing craft InSight, which arrived on Mars in 2018 to study its deep interior, previously measured seismic signals on the planet that were "acoustically driven" and then "rendered as audio."

But mission deputy project manager Matt Wallace said he believed the Martian breeze represented the first ambient sound directly recorded on the surface of Mars and played back for humans.

The spacecraft's mics failed to collect useable audio during descent to the crater floor. But they did pick up a mechanical whirring from the rover after its arrival. Wallace said he hoped to record other sounds, such as the rover's wheels crunching over the surface and its robotic arm drilling for samples of Martian rock.


But it was film footage from the spacecraft's perilous, self-guided ride through Martian skies to touchdown - an interval NASA has dubbed "the seven minutes of terror" - that JPL's team found particularly striking.

"These videos, and these images are the stuff of our dreams," Al Chen, head of the descent and landing team, told reporters. JPL Director Mike Watkins said engineers spent much of the weekend "binge-watching" the footage.

The video, filmed in color at 75 frames a second, shows action in fluid, vivid motion from several angles, the first such imagery ever recorded of a spacecraft landing on another planet, Wallace said.

One of the most dramatic moments is of the red-and-white parachute being shot from a canon-like launch device into the sky above the rover as the spacecraft is hurtling toward the ground at nearly two times the speed of sound.

The chute springs upward, unfurls and fully inflates in less than two seconds, with no evidence of tangling within its 2 miles (3.2 km) of tether lines, Chen said.

A downward-pointing camera shows the heat shield falling away and a sweeping vista of the butterscotch-colored Martian terrain, appearing to shift back and forth as the spacecraft sways under the parachute.

Seconds later, an upward-pointed camera captures the rocket-powered "sky-crane" vehicle, newly jettisoned from the parachute, its thrusters firing but the propellant plumes invisible to the human eye while lowering the rover to a safe landing spot on a harness of tethers.

A separate camera shows the lowering of the six-wheeled rover from the vantage point of the sky crane, looking downward as Perseverance dangles from its cable harness just over the surface with streams of dust billowing around it at touchdown. The sky crane is then seen flying up and away from the landing site after the harness cables are cut.

A single still photo of the rover suspended from the sky crane moments before landing was released by NASA on Friday amid much fanfare as a precursor to the video shown on Monday.

The only previous moving footage produced of a spacecraft during a Mars landing was a comparatively crude video shot from beneath the previous rover, Curiosity, during its descent to the planet's surface in 2012. That stop-motion-like sequence was shot at 3.5 frames per second from a single angle that showed the ground gradually getting closer but included no images of the parachute or sky-crane maneuvers.

Other relevant articles 
[2021-02-20 13:30:15] Two killed in Myanmar city of Mandalay in another day of protests
[2021-02-19 02:35:10] Dollar nursing losses after jobs data mars recovery narrative;...
[2021-02-17 20:20:08] Jaguar land rover to cut 2,000 non-factory jobs globally - Sky News
[2021-02-15 11:55:23] Jaguar Land Rover to go 100% electric by 2039
[2021-01-30 06:30:15] Bangladesh sends more Rohingya refugees to remote island despite criticism
[2021-01-28 12:20:07] U.S. Congress Republicans face dilemma in controversies around...
[2021-01-27 12:05:07] Jaguar Land Rover appoints creative chief to board as it...
[2021-01-22 10:50:11] Renewed lockdown sends UK economy tumbling again: PMI
[2021-01-13 17:10:16] Signal to ramp up hiring after WhatsApp controversy drives download surge
[2021-01-10 13:30:20] Spain paralysed by snowstorm, sends out vaccine, food convoys
[2021-01-09 21:15:19] More Capitol rioters in viral posts arrested, senator urges social media providers to keep data
[2021-01-09 17:10:17] Stricter COVID-19 curfew imposed on French city of Marseille
[2021-01-04 00:25:22] Gerry and the Pacemakers star Gerry Marsden dies aged 78
[2020-12-25 14:40:10] Britain sends more troops to Dover to clear lorry queues
[2020-12-24 08:35:07] No UK port problems so far for Jaguar Land Rover
[2020-12-22 00:50:26] U.S. opens probe into whether VW vehicles infringe Jaguar Land...
[2020-12-17 10:45:07] Surging investor interest sends bitcoin to peak past $23,000
[2020-12-11 20:25:11] U.S. Senate passes, sends to Trump, one-week extension of...
[2020-12-08 07:20:06] Mexico pushes vote on controversial outsourcing bill into 2021
[2020-12-07 15:45:23] JPMorgan sends pandemic relief policy recommendations to...
[2020-11-17 17:25:08] Amazon Pharmacy Sends Rival Drug Stores Tumbling
[2020-11-12 08:30:07] Pandemic sends Emirates to half-year loss for first time over 30...
[2020-11-10 21:45:07] House Democrats urge U.S. FTC, FCC to halt work on controversial...
[2020-11-10 15:20:03] Exclusive: Italy judge sends to trial BT Italy, former executives in fraud case
[2020-11-02 16:45:24] OPEC Boosts Output Even as New Virus Wave Sends Oil Crashing
[2020-10-24 19:15:15] Russia sends more military equipment to Central African Republic: RIA
[2020-10-20 20:15:05] Goldman Sachs sends some London staff home following positive...
[2020-10-18 06:55:17] Israel sends treaty delegation to Bahrain with Trump aides
[2020-10-13 14:15:03] As U.S. politics heats up, companies seek to avoid controversy
[2020-10-04 03:20:21] Guatemala sends over 3,000 Honduran migrants home from caravan
[2020-10-01 15:10:14] SAP to acquire cloud-based marketing company Emarsys
[2020-10-01 00:25:11] U.S. Senate passes bill funding government through December 11,...
[2020-09-27 18:00:22] Alvarez & Marsal appointed administrators of NMC healthcare in the UAE:...
[2020-09-27 17:30:20] India’s controversial farm bills become law despite protests
[2020-09-23 10:05:07] U.S. Dollar Rally Sends GBP, AUD, CAD To 1-Month Lows
[2020-09-21 17:50:23] Military-style Marshall Plan needed to combat climate change,...
[2020-09-20 10:40:22] Fujian drop Lawson after controversial social media post: Xinhua
[2020-09-15 20:20:04] JPMorgan sends some traders home after worker contracts COVID-19:...
[2020-09-11 18:10:23] S&P 500: More To Go On The Downside?
[2020-09-09 12:10:06] Futures bounce after tech rout sends Nasdaq into correction
[2020-09-09 02:55:06] Dollar and yen rise as tech selloff sends investors to safety
[2020-09-05 10:05:13] Coric comeback sends Tsitsipas tumbling out of US Open
[2020-09-01 07:40:03] Bonds Rally in India After RBI Sends �Whatever It Takes’ Signal
[2020-08-26 21:40:07] Exclusive: France sends reform roadmap to crisis-ridden Lebanon
[2020-08-25 15:30:03] Opening Bell: Futures, Global Stocks Push Higher On Sino-U.S. Trade...
[2020-08-21 09:30:12] India parliamentary panel to question Facebook on content...
[2020-08-19 17:05:08] Exclusive: Facebook employees internally question policy after India content controversy - sources, memos
[2020-08-16 12:05:22] India sends team to Mauritius to assist in oil spill
[2020-08-14 23:55:13] UK bailout talks for Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Steel fall...
[2020-08-11 20:00:07] Mexican same-store retail sales fall 9.1% year-over-year in July
[2020-08-10 11:05:21] Global commercial insurance rates up 19% in second quarter -...
[2020-08-05 04:35:07] U.S. Representative Roger Marshall wins Kansas Republican...
[2020-08-03 23:15:26] Trump withdraws nomination of controversial figure to Pentagon...
[2020-07-30 15:40:19] Senate nomination hearing for controversial Pentagon pick abruptly canceled
[2020-07-29 20:45:09] NASA poised to launch new rover to seek evidence of past Martian...
[2020-07-28 11:30:09] Jaguar Land Rover names Thierry Bolloré as CEO
[2020-07-28 00:25:26] Japan stirs controversy with huge COVID aid contract for ad giant...
[2020-07-26 03:05:18] U.S. charges 18 Portland protesters as it sends tactical police to Seattle
[2020-07-26 00:35:18] U.S. sends envoy to press for peace talks in Afghanistan
[2020-07-22 13:20:07] An introvert’s guide to Zoom: Four tips for remote meetings
[2020-07-21 18:25:04] New York City mayor promises court fight if Trump sends federal...
[2020-07-19 21:50:20] United Arab Emirates set to launch mission to Mars
[2020-07-17 11:35:10] Indonesian tycoon Salim wins close shareholder vote on...
[2020-07-09 10:30:11] A Dearth of Cattle Sends Beef Production Plummeting in Australia
[2020-07-07 08:40:03] TikTok Pulling Out of Hong Kong After China Law Controversy
[2020-07-04 19:10:20] Marseille turns green with election of first woman mayor
[2020-07-04 11:50:14] Marshall Wace targets $1 billion for new ESG focused fund: source
[2020-07-04 09:45:14] U.S. sends carriers to South China Sea during Chinese drills
[2020-07-02 17:10:07] U.S. Supreme Court sends Indiana abortion cases back to lower...
[2020-06-13 20:10:16] Chile president replaces health minister amid COVID-19 deaths...
[2020-06-09 15:20:07] Deutsche Bank sends note of caution to staff as Germany slowly...
[2020-06-08 06:15:22] Japan details some spending in controversial $92 billion budget...
[2020-06-08 04:15:22] New York Times opinion editor resigns after column controversy
[2020-06-05 10:20:10] Jaguar Land Rover raises $705 million loan from Chinese banks
[2020-06-04 05:50:12] Hong Kong legislature passes controversial China national anthem...
[2020-06-01 03:15:24] Security Law Sends Hong Kong Residents Dashing for the Exit
[2020-06-01 00:10:28] U.S. sends Brazil 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, drug touted by Trump
[2020-05-21 16:35:08] Data-Entry Error Mars U.S. Jobless-Claims Report for Second Week
[2020-05-19 21:30:05] Michigan sends mail-in vote applications to all registered voters
[2020-05-17 19:20:19] Salvadoran president declares emergency without OK from congress, sparking controversy
[2020-05-14 22:25:10] Trump’s Rising Clash With China Sends Joy Through Gold Buyers
[2020-05-06 12:05:07] E-cigarette maker Juul Labs to exit South Korea after year of...
[2020-05-06 09:05:09] Samsung heir Lee apologises over succession, labour controversy
[2020-04-30 15:40:08] Coronavirus sends U.S. consumer spending into record fall in March
[2020-04-29 17:35:08] Republicans postpone vote on controversial Fed nominee Shelton
[2020-04-26 09:10:22] Australia launches controversial COVID-19 tracking app as some states start easing rules
[2020-04-26 06:05:18] Cuba sends doctors to South Africa to combat coronavirus
[2020-04-25 14:10:15] Serbia sends four planes carrying medical equipment to Italy
[2020-04-23 15:25:07] Jaguar Land Rover plans to restart some European production from mid-May
[2020-04-20 15:05:22] The Currency Market Is Sending Out Another Signal About Gold
[2020-04-14 15:35:05] India lockdown sends grey-market booze prices soaring
[2020-04-08 18:10:08] Fuel Demand Rout Sends U.S. Ethanol Output to Lowest in a Decade
[2020-04-03 11:35:11] StockBeat: Services PMI Horror Show Sends Markets Lower
[2020-04-02 22:45:10] U.S. SEC delays ruling on controversial NYSE high-speed data plan
[2020-03-31 18:05:05] Large Impairment Charges Send HEXO Stock Plummeting 28% In One Day
[2020-03-31 10:50:05] Europe sends medical goods to Iran in trade test
[2020-03-19 13:10:12] Surging dollar sends emerging currency index to lowest in more than three years
[2020-03-19 11:30:16] Surging dollar sends emerging currency index to lowest in more...
[2020-03-18 21:25:12] Congress sends Trump multibillion-dollar coronavirus aid bill
[2020-03-17 23:10:16] U.S. limits Mexico guest worker visas, sends farmers scrambling