The Perseverance rover sent the first images from the Red Planet to Earth, but the most impressive was its own selfie, taken literally a few moments before landing on the surface of Mars.
Perseverance today is one of the most advanced spacecraft among those who have already visited the Red Planet. It is equipped with several color cameras, a modern on-board computer and a sensitive microphone for listening to ambient sounds. The collected information – photos and videos – is transmitted to Earth by radio communication, which, alas, still has a low bandwidth. It is sent in parts along with telemetry.
Along with the landing selfie, NASA has released a snapshot from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), capturing the Perseverance landing, the surrounding area, and even one of the rover’s six wheels. The color photo was taken with a fish-eye lens.
According to NASA, it will take at least two months before Perseverance is fully loaded. Before that, space agency engineers will have to conduct a thorough analysis of the operation of all systems of the rover, update its software and test scientific instruments.
The pyrotechnic bolts were activated on Friday, which released the camera mast raised on Saturday. Next, the robotic arm will be activated and after a short test drive – the first ever Martian helicopter will be launched.