Perseverance Mars Rover
Science and Technology

Perseverance’ takes historic first Martian ‘selfie’

Feb 20, 2021, 3:58 AM
Opinyon News Team

Opinyon News Team

News Reporter

Scientists at NASA have released what may be the first “selfie” ever taken inside the planet Mars.

Mars rover Perseverance took a ‘selfie’ before historic landing on the Red Planet

IF THERE was anything that Mars rover Perseverance has accomplished shortly after successfully landing on Mars other than providing scientists with important data that maybe used for future explorations, was that it took what may be the “first selfie” taken on the Red Planet.

Selfie of Perseverance in Mars

Selfie of Perseverance in Mars from CNN

Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), were visibly delighted after they received from the rover transmitted images of the landing, including a selfie of the six-wheeled vehicle dangling just above the land surface moments before touchdown.

The photo was snapped by a camera mounted on the rocket-powered "sky crane" descent-stage just above the rover as the car-sized space vehicle was being lowered on Thursday to Martian soil.

Selfie of Perseverance in Mars

Selfie of Perseverance in Mars from CNN

The picture, looking down on the rover, shows the entire vehicle suspended from three cables unspooled from the sky crane, along with an "umbilical" communications cord. Swirls of dust kicked up by the crane's rocket thrusters are also visible.

The image of the dangling science lab, striking for its clarity and sense of motion, marks the first such close-up photo of a spacecraft landing on Mars, or any planet beyond Earth.

"This is something we've never seen before," Aaron Stehura, a deputy lead for the mission's descent and landing team, describing himself and colleagues as "awe-struck" when first viewing the image.

Scientists and space buffs had immediately compared the historic moment to the shot of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin standing on the moon during the first manned lunar mission in 1969.

Stehura said the viewer is connected with a landmark moment representing years of work by thousands of individuals.

"You are brought to the surface of Mars. You're sitting there, seven meters off the surface of the rover looking down," he said. "It's absolutely exhilarating, and it is evocative of those other images from our experience as human beings moving out into our solar system."

Among other things, the “Perseverance” mission seeks to confirm if there have been fossilized traces of microbial life in its soils, proof that life had also once existed on the Red Planet. (ONT)

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