Finally, the descent and touchdown video of the Perseverance Rover fully relayed to Earth, and NASA has published it. Watch the descent and touchdown of a Mars rover, for the first time as a full video!

The descent and touchdown video of the Perseverance Rover: NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance mission captured thrilling footage of its rover landing in Mars’ Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. The real footage in this video was captured by several cameras that are part of the rover’s entry, descent, and landing suite. The views include a camera looking down from the spacecraft’s descent stage (a kind of rocket-powered jet pack that helps fly the rover to its landing site), a camera on the rover looking up at the descent stage, a camera on the top of the aeroshell (a capsule protecting the rover) looking up at that parachute, and a camera on the bottom of the rover looking down at the Martian surface.The audio embedded in the video comes from the mission control call-outs during entry, descent, and landing.

At the end of the video, you can see the separation of the skycrane which power-landed Perseverance on the Martian surface. Amazing!

Perseverance skycrane separation
Skycrane separation just before the touchdown (screenshot from the descent and touchdown video of the Perseverance Rover).

Previous Mars rover Curiosity‘s descent was recorded as stop-motion – NASA has used 297 images taken during the descent to create a simulation.

Perseverance Rover touchdown photo on Mars.
Perseverance Rover touchdown photo on Mars.
Perseverance Rover Entry, Descent and Landing Profile
Perseverance Rover’s Entry, Descent and Landing Profile. This illustration shows the events that occur in the final minutes of the nearly seven-month journey that NASA’s Perseverance rover takes to Mars. Hundreds of critical events must execute perfectly and exactly on time for the rover to land on Mars safely on Feb. 18, 2021. Entry, Descent, and Landing, or “EDL,” begins when the spacecraft reaches the top of the Martian atmosphere, traveling nearly 12,500 mph (20,000 kph). It ends about seven minutes later, with Perseverance stationary on the Martian surface. Perseverance handles everything on its own during this process. It takes more than 11 minutes to get a radio signal back from Mars, so by the time the mission team hears that the spacecraft has entered the atmosphere, in reality, the rover is already on the ground. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California built and will manage operations of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover for NASA. Photo source: NASA JPL. For more information about the mission, please see the Perseverance Rover mission page.
Perseverance Rover Entry, Descent and Landing Profile
Perseverance Rover’s Entry, Descent and Landing Profile, metric version.
M. Özgür Nevres
Latest posts by M. Özgür Nevres (see all)

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.