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Science

Martian rover sends back overwhelming video, audio from the Red Planet – Science Magazine

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Simply 4 martian days after touching down on the Red Planet, NASA’s Perseverance rover has despatched again its first video of its new house: a 1-minute arabesque of shade and movement captured from 4 on-board cameras, because the car-size rover dangles from its rocket-propelled descent automobile, a red-and-white parachute snaps into place, and the pitted floor of Mars comes slowly into view, darkish canyons giving solution to ripples of mud that appear like large, rust-colored dunes (see video, above).

However maybe much more thrilling, an sudden present arrived together with the video and the thousands of new images that had been downloaded over the weekend: the first sound recording taken from the floor of Mars. The recording, captured 1 day after touchdown by an on-board microphone, options the whine of the rover, adopted by a gust of martian wind drumming gently towards the microphone. Listening to that sound was “overwhelming,” mentioned Dave Gruel, lead engineer for the mission’s entry, descent, and touchdown cameras, at a NASA occasion announcing the new video and images. “We’re simply starting to do wonderful issues on the floor of Mars.”

That feeling lasted all weekend as the pictures and video rolled in, mentioned Michael Watkins, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). “These are actually wonderful movies. All of us binge-watched them over the weekend, should you can name a 1-minute video binge-watching. However we watched it many, many occasions, and it’s simply improbable.”

The movies and pictures additionally counsel the mission goes in line with plan: To this point, just a few items seem like lacking or misplaced (an antenna cowl, the parachute cowl, and a wayward spring), and all devices are functioning as anticipated, says Jessica Samuels, floor mission supervisor at JPL. Subsequent, after a brand new software program add is full, the science staff plans to do an in-depth examination of the rover’s devices, deploy its robotic arm, and take Perseverance for its first check drive on the Crimson Planet.

The one unhappy be aware, Gruel says, was that the rover’s microphones malfunctioned throughout entry, which means the mission doesn’t have any sound to go together with its new video. However the microphone is again on-line, and he mentioned that his staff obtained by way of the preliminary mishap with a favourite mantra: “We get what we get, and we don’t get upset.”

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