Cameras on "Percy," as the rover is affectionately called at mission control, show for the first time the perspective of a spacecraft landing on Mars. The video begins 230 seconds after the rover entered the Martian atmosphere, with the inflation of the rover's parachute 7 miles above the Martian surface, and ends with the rover touching down on the surface.
The first audio of Mars was also picked up briefly by a microphone on the rover, which captured a few seconds of a Martian breeze and sounds of the rover operating once it reached the surface.
However, the microphone did not capture any "usable data" of the descent itself -- but it did survive the process. The rover Twitter account also shared the sounds: "Now that you've seen Mars, hear it. Grab some headphones and listen to the first sounds captured by one of my microphones."
"This video of Perseverance's descent is the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, in a statement. "It should become mandatory viewing for young women and men who not only want to explore other worlds and build the spacecraft that will take them there, but also want to be part of the diverse teams achieving all the audacious goals in our future."
The team also shared Perseverance's first panorama of its landing site. While previous spacecraft have sent back "movies," which are really just images stitched together in GIF form, Perseverance has cameras with video capability. Altogether, the rover has 23 cameras, which include zooming and color capabilities as well.
The rover and its attached helicopter, called Ingenuity, landed on Mars Thursday, February 18. After landing, the rover relayed back data and images using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling the planet since 2006.
The first black-and-white images of the rover's landing site were available almost immediately. Last Friday, the first color images were shared. The rover also sent back a never-before-seen view: What it looks like to land on Mars. This image is one still from the video that was shared Monday.