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NASA’s Perseverance rover hasn’t started roaming the red planet just yet, but its cameras have been busy at work.

A suite of ruggedized, off-the-shelf sports cameras captured unprecedented footage of the rover descending to Mars and landing in Jezero Crater on Thursday. Then the rover’s science and navigation cameras began snapping away as soon as it was on the ground. The results are breathtaking.

So far, NASA has published more than 4,700 images from the rover, with many more to come.

“It’s been a firehose of data,” Justin Maki, a Perseverance imaging scientist and the chief of the instrument-operations team, said in a press conference on Monday.

The new photos reveal the sand dunes, rocks, and distant 200-foot-tall cliffs of the ancient lake bed where Perseverance now sits. It’s the most hazardous terrain any Mars landing has ever targeted, but it’s already paying off in unprecedented portraits of the red planet.

“I review images for Mars, like, every day. That’s what I do. And when I saw these images come down, I have to say, I was truly amazed,” Maki said. “I know it’s been a tough year for everybody, and we’re hoping that maybe these images will help brighten people’s day.”

SEE ALSO: For the first time, we have an audio recording from the surface of Mars — take a listen

DON’T MISS: NASA’s Mars rover landed in the perfect place to hunt for alien fossils: an ancient lake bed called Jezero Crater

After landing on Thursday, NASA’s Perseverance rover immediately started beaming back thousands of photos of the red planet.

These include the first-ever images of a rover landing on Mars. Five cameras captured more than 23,000 images during Perseverance’s descent.

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NASA has also released a three-minute video of the rover’s descent and landing. Watch it and read more here.

The cameras started recording as the capsule carrying the rover deployed a 70-foot-wide parachute to slow its fall through the Martian atmosphere.

Hidden in the parachute’s pattern is binary computer code spelling out the message “Dare mighty things.”

When the bottom panel of the capsule fell away, that exposed a camera on the bottom of the rover, which captured Jezero Crater below.

In this ancient lake bed, Perseverance is set to hunt for signs of ancient alien microbes that could be fossilized there, especially along the river delta that once filled the crater with water.

about Jezero Crater and its potential for alien life here.

All these images had to be color corrected. Here’s what they looked like before that.

During the landing, the capsule dropped the rover, and then a jetpack attached to Perseverance’s back fired its engines and flew to the landing site. There, it lowered the rover on 25-foot nylon cables.

As it approached, the jetpack’s engines kicked up swirling clouds of dust on the Martian surface.

Then the jetpack released the rover and flew away to crash-land at a safe distance.

Before the dust settled, the rover was already beaming back …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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