The agency’s specialists will receive images from the rover over the weekend, and several high-quality photos can be received by February 22.
Specialists of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) received images taken when landing the Perseverance rover on the Red Planet. They were demonstrated on Friday at a briefing broadcast on the NASA website.
“This image shows the Perseverance spacecraft suspended on cables under the lander at the time of descent to the surface of Mars,” said Adam Steltzner, the project’s chief engineer. According to him, the photo was taken from the lander when the rover was at an altitude of about two meters above the surface of the Red Planet.
NASA specialists demonstrated several more images. Among them is a photo of the rover at the time of its descent by parachute in the Martian atmosphere, taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Another photo was taken using a camera mounted on Perseverance itself, which captured one of its wheels on the surface of the Red Planet. The image clearly shows the stones dotted with small holes, the nature of which is planned to establish the experts of the American space Agency.
A representative of the team of specialists involved in the Perseverance project, Pauline Hwang, did not dare to name the exact number of images NASA specialists received from the rover. “We received some low-quality images, more than I can count,” she admitted. According to her, the agency’s specialists will receive images from the rover over the weekend, while several high-quality photos can be received by Monday.
The Perseverance rover landed near the Jezero crater on Thursday. All operations during it were carried out in automatic mode. Now, all systems and equipment will be checked within a few months. NASA experts expect to use Perseverance to detect traces of the existence of life on Mars in the distant past.
The Atlas V launch vehicle with the rover launched in July 2020 from the Cape Canaveral space center (Florida). Perseverance must place rock and soil samples in approximately 40 special containers. It is planned that another rover will pick them up in 2026. It is expected that the containers will be loaded onto a special launch vehicle that will put them into orbit around the Red Planet. Next, the samples will be picked up by another device, which should deliver them to Earth. NASA expects this to happen in the 2030s.