NASA has released video showing the moment its “most sophisticated” rover, Perseverance, touched down on the Red Planet — and the “seven minutes of terror” it endured when fighting through tumultuous conditions to enter the atmosphere.
“Now we finally have a front-row view to what we call ‘the seven minutes of terror’ while landing on Mars,” Michael Watkins, the director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, wrote in a statement. “From the explosive opening of the parachute to the landing rockets’ plume sending dust and debris flying at touchdown, it’s absolutely awe-inspiring.”
The footage, which came from the rover’s 25 cameras, shows the “supersonic deployment” of Perseverance’s parachute, the most massive parachute ever sent to another world, and the ejection of the heat shield that protected the rover as it crashed through the planet’s fiery atmosphere.
“If this were an old Western movie, I’d say the descent stage was our hero riding slowly into the setting Sun, but the heroes are