US’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Monday released the first ever audio clip from Mars and also the first landing video of the Perseverance rover.
The video clip, which lasts 3 minutes and 25 seconds, shows the heat shield protecting the rover dropping away and a massive red-and-white parachute being deployed as it nears the Red planet for landing. It then shows the touchdown in Mars’ Jezero Crater in a cloud of dust.
“Your front-row seat to my Mars landing is here. Watch how we did it,” the Twitter handle of NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover wrote.
While a microphone did not work during the landing, a secondary microphone was able to capture audio once it landed.
“Now that you’ve seen Mars, hear it. Grab some headphones and listen to the first sounds captured by one of my microphones,” it wrote in another tweet.
“What you hear there 10 seconds in is an actual wind gust on the surface of Mars picked up by the microphone and sent back to us here on Earth,” said Dave Gruel, lead engineer for the camera and microphone system on Perseverance.
“This is the first time we’ve ever been able to capture an event like the landing on Mars,” said Michael Watkins, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“These are really amazing videos,” Watkins said. “We bingewatched them all weekend,” he added.
The Perseverance Rover was launched last year on July 30, 2020 and landed on Mars last week.