NASA on Monday released a trove of video footage showing its Perseverance rover landing on Mars after plunging through the planet’s atmosphere, unveiling the most in-depth views of a Mars landing ever.
Mission teams at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California got back 30 gigabytes of data and over 23,000 images of the vehicle descending down to the surface.
The spacecraft entered Mars’ atmosphere bundled with a protective shell and a descent stage called the “Skycrane,” which fired rocket thrusters to slow its descent near the surface. The bundle sported four cameras to capture the landing sequence: one fixed on its protective backshell facing upward, one on the descent stage, and two on each side of the rover. Together, they captured some incredible views of the spacecraft’s descent.
“I can watch these videos for hours, and keep seeing new stuff every time,” Allen Chen, the mission’s entry, landing, and descent lead, said during a press conference.