With less than a day on its life on Mars Perseverance has already wowed us with its first still image during one of the most difficult and dangerous times of the descent. Like its twin rover Curiosity, cameras captured stop-motion video of the rover being lowered by the Skycrane. Today we get the first glimpse of what it will look like.
Unlike the previous rovers that landed on Mars, all of Perseverance’s cameras are in color and are much higher resolution. Back in 2012 Curiosity also sent back a stop-motion video of about 300 frames covering the last two and a half minutes of flight.
While NASA is still working to download the remaining images to put together a video they released a sneak peek in a press release earlier today. It shows a view from the Skycrane as it lowers the rover down on the nylon tethers shortly before the wheels did their first touchdown on the Red Planet.
Later today the main mask of the rover, caring the navigation cameras, SuperCam, and Mastercam-Z, will be released from the deck of the rover by a few pyrotechnic bolts. This will allow us to see even better resolution images of Perseverance’s surroundings than what we have already seen with the onboard HazCams.