Last week, NASA's Perseverance rover had made a successful landing on Mars, settling into a deep crater called Jezero and undertaking preparations to begin it's investigation. The robotic geologist and astrobiologist will now investigate the rock and sediment of Jezero’s ancient lakebed and river delta and to look for any signs of ancient microbial life.
Since Friday, the rover has given people several glimpses of its surroundings and the Martian crater. Now, videos taken by Perseverance during the the final minutes of its entry, descent, and landing have been released. From the moment of parachute inflation, the camera system covers the entirety of the descent process and footage of the rover's descent ends with its touchdown.
"Perseverance is just getting started, and already has provided some of the most iconic visuals in space exploration history. It reinforces the remarkable level of engineering and precision that is required to build and fly a vehicle to the Red Planet," a press note from NASA quotes acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk as saying.
But it is not just a matter of iconic visuals.
In a first, the Perseverance rover has managed to capture the first audio recording of sounds from Mars. A microphone on the rover obtained sounds from Jezero Crater on February 20. As NASA pointed out sharing the audio, one can hear a "Martian breeze" briefly - much like the far more earthly sound of wind against a microphone. One can also hear mechanical sounds of the rover operating on the surface.
The audio has been uploaded to the NASA website and can also be accessed on Soundcloud. A shorter clip with the 'breeze' included has also been shared on the 'Audio and Ringtones' page of the NASA website.