The first-ever rover landing video from Mars is about to come to Earth, and you can watch its release live today, courtesy of NASA.
At 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT), NASA will unveil video of the Perseverance rover as it landed on Mars as seen from the rover itself. You can watch the event live here and on Space.com’s homepage courtesy of NASA TV. Perseverance landed on Mars on Thursday (Feb. 18) to begin its search for signs of ancient life on Mars, collect samples and study the Red Planet like never before.
“Now that @NASAPersevere landed, we’ll release first-of-its-kind footage from the rover’s descent and landing after entering Mars’ atmosphere,” NASA officials wrote in a Twitter update Saturday (Feb. 20).
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The video sequence will Perseverance touching down at Jezero Crater on Mars. Perseverance mission scientists shared a sneak peek at the video on Friday, when they released a photo Perseverance dangling above Mars from its rocket-powered skycrane taken during its epic “seven minutes of terror” landing. The high-definition image, which NASA also tweeted out, has already been liked more than 150,000 times and retweeted nearly 30,000 times from the official Percy account alone.
“The moment that my team dreamed of for years, now a reality. Dare mighty things,” the photo caption said, with the mission adding in another tweet. “This shot from a camera on my ‘jetpack’ captures me in midair, just before my wheels touched down.”
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We’ve been waiting for the full video ever since the picture was posted, as Perseverance gradually uploads data to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to in turn, relay to NASA’s Deep Space Network of antennas that tracks missions across the universe. As of Sunday around 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT), information from MRO was downloading to the Madrid antenna, according to the Deep Space Network Now website from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
From its landing site in Jezero Crater, the rover can send up to 2 megabits of data per second to the orbiting MRO. Perseverance was watched during landing by three other spacecraft as well. Eventually, we should get 4K video from Perseverance’s journeys, which is an interplanetary first.
Besides sending the landing video to Earth, Perseverance is currently checking out its major systems before getting rolling on-planet, with its JPL controllers working on Mars time to make the most of the first crucial months of the mission.