The NASA rover Perseverance has now also made a first panorama of its surroundings with one of its high-resolution cameras, which the US space agency has now published. It was composed of a total of 142 individual images and shows details of a few millimeters near the rover and still a few meters in diameter on the horizon. Those responsible for the rover want to use the photos to find stones and sediments that are worth a closer analysis. The so-called mastcams on one arm above the rover are better than their predecessors on the Rover Curiosity and have, among other things, a zoom function.
Perseverance has the single photos of the immense panorama recorded last Saturday, writes NASA. It’s almost 37,000 × 12,000 pixels. The two mast cams can record comparatively high-resolution color videos and photos from a height of around two meters. The cameras each have a resolution of 1600 × 1200 pixels and can also work together to create 3D images. Those responsible tested the newly added zoom function by taking a picture of the crater rim on the horizon. Perseverance has been standing in the Jezero crater, which could once have been a flowing body of water, since it landed just over a week ago.
To illustrate Perseverance’s surroundings, NASA has also published an image that shows what is arguably the most exciting area the rover could explore. While the landing site cannot be seen on it – Perseverance is a little below the left edge of the screen – the formation can be seen very clearly, which probably once formed the delta of a river that flowed into a large lake. Perseverance could explore this area, slowly working its way up to where the shore might once have been. The rim of the crater is about 600 meters high and the rover could continue researching behind it. Perseverance could make half of this distance within about two earth years, they say.
NASA’s youngest Mars rover landed on the Red Planet last Thursday. Although the landing was an even bigger challenge for the engineers than with the predecessor Curiosity, everything went perfectly. This is shown by the video that NASA published on Monday. It is the first ever to show a landing on another planet. First a braking parachute slowed the enormous speed of the vehicle, just above the ground the braking rockets of the descent stage slowed the rover down to walking speed and set it down at a point that it had chosen autonomously. The rover is currently being tested and prepared for its research work.