Mars landing team 'awestruck' by photo of descending rover

The photo was released less than 24 hours after the Perseverance rover successfully touched down near an ancient river delta, where it will search for signs of ancient life and set aside the most promising rock samples for return to Earth in a decade.

Associated Press

Feb 19, 2021, 10:46 PM

Updated 1,211 days ago

Share:

The world got its first close-up look at a Mars landing on Friday, as NASA released a stunning picture of its newest rover being lowered onto the dusty red surface.
The photo was released less than 24 hours after the Perseverance rover successfully touched down near an ancient river delta, where it will search for signs of ancient life and set aside the most promising rock samples for return to Earth in a decade.
NASA equipped the spacecraft with a record 25 cameras and two microphones, many of which were turned on during Thursday’s descent.
Photo Credit: NASA
The rover is shown in stunning detail just 6 1/2 feet (2 meters) off the ground, being lowered by cables attached to an overhead sky crane, the red dust kicked up by rocket engines. NASA promises more photos in the next few days and possibly also an audio recording of the descent.
“This is something that we’ve never seen before,” flight system engineer Aaron Stehura noted at a news conference. “It was stunning, and the team was awestruck. There’s just a feeling of victory that we were able to capture these and share it with the world.”
Chief engineer Adam Steltzner called the picture “iconic," putting it right up there with photos of Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin on the moon, Saturn as seen by Voyager 1, and the Hubble Space Telescope's “pillars of creation” shot.
A number of thumbnail images have been beamed down so far, too many to count, said Pauline Hwang, strategic mission manager for surface operations. “The team went wild” at seeing these first pictures, she said.
Photo Credit: NASA
“We were just kind of like on cloud nine .. this weird dreamlike state, we can't actually believe this is what we're seeing," she said.
The spacecraft is healthy, according to officials, after landing on a flat, safe surface in Jezero Crater with just 1 degree of tilt and relatively small rocks nearby. For now, the systems still are being checked. It will be at least a week before the rover starts driving.
Photo Credit: NASA


More from News 12
2:24
Connecticut prepares for upcoming heat wave next week

Connecticut prepares for upcoming heat wave next week

2:12
Heavy rain clears out tonight; tolerable temperatures Saturday

Heavy rain clears out tonight; tolerable temperatures Saturday

2:33
SILVER LINING: Swimmer from Darien recalls tragic shark attack in Turks and Caicos

SILVER LINING: Swimmer from Darien recalls tragic shark attack in Turks and Caicos

2:35
Supreme Court bump stock ruling won't impact CT ban

Supreme Court bump stock ruling won't impact CT ban

Alex Jones’ personal assets to be sold to pay $1.5B Sandy Hook debt. Company bankruptcy is dismissed

Alex Jones’ personal assets to be sold to pay $1.5B Sandy Hook debt. Company bankruptcy is dismissed

0:14
Police: Goshen man dies after crashing into a tree in Torrington

Police: Goshen man dies after crashing into a tree in Torrington

0:45
Gov. Lamont announced over 26 million for remediation and development to properties across Connecticut

Gov. Lamont announced over 26 million for remediation and development to properties across Connecticut

0:56
 Free jazz concert for Bridgeport seniors to be held next Thursday

Free jazz concert for Bridgeport seniors to be held next Thursday

3:03
'Truly incredible.' Staples High School club 3D prints prosthetics for people in need

'Truly incredible.' Staples High School club 3D prints prosthetics for people in need

0:22
Police: Over 75 pounds of marijuana found during shooting investigation in Milford

Police: Over 75 pounds of marijuana found during shooting investigation in Milford

0:47
Michelle Troconis' family releases statement 2 weeks after her sentencing

Michelle Troconis' family releases statement 2 weeks after her sentencing

0:47
Monroe Congregational Church's 52nd annual Strawberry Festival is this weekend. Here's what you need to know!

Monroe Congregational Church's 52nd annual Strawberry Festival is this weekend. Here's what you need to know!

0:17
Officials: Connecticut diesel tax to rise 3.2 cents in July

Officials: Connecticut diesel tax to rise 3.2 cents in July

0:49
Police: Motorcyclist seriously injured in Newtown crash as motorcycle fatalities rise across the country

Police: Motorcyclist seriously injured in Newtown crash as motorcycle fatalities rise across the country

2:36
Officials: Underground explosion caused closures in downtown Stamford

Officials: Underground explosion caused closures in downtown Stamford

2:50
 Person of interest arrested after explosion at Bridgeport apartment building

Person of interest arrested after explosion at Bridgeport apartment building

0:35
CSP: Stamford man dodged troopers, put CT DOT workers at risk at site of I-95 bridge fire

CSP: Stamford man dodged troopers, put CT DOT workers at risk at site of I-95 bridge fire

1:51
Dan Hurley is staying with UConn, but how much more will they pay him?

Dan Hurley is staying with UConn, but how much more will they pay him?

2:07
Campaign School at Yale University trains next generation of female candidates

Campaign School at Yale University trains next generation of female candidates