At the end of July 2020, NASA launched the Mars rover, Perseverance, into space. Now, the rover is on a seven-month journey to the Red Planet where it will try to find signs of past—or present—life. But before the rover can do its job, it’ll need to actually land on the Martian surface. And according to the visualization of the process in the video below, that’s going to be no easy feat.
The visualization of Perseverance’s landing on Mars was created and posted by the YouTube channel ElderFox Documentaries. ElderFox is a UK-based company that produces space exploration documentaries, like this incredible one involving tons of stunning 4K Mars footage.
The visualization of Perseverance going through the landing process begins around four minutes into the video. The rover’s lander descends through the thin Martian atmosphere, moving at 30,000 miles per hour. After its heat shield rises to a whopping 3,800 degrees Fahrenheit, the lander deploys the largest and strongest supersonic parachute ever built.
After deployment of the parachute, the lander’s heat shield detaches like a camera’s lens cap. Following that sequence, the lander turns on its boosters. But because the boosters can’t be used all the way to the ground (thanks to the probability of kicking up Martian dust), the rover is finally lowered from the lander via a tether. Engineers refer to this procedure as the “skycrane” maneuver.
Along with visualizing the landing, ElderFox’s video also gives a great rundown of the goals of the Mars 2020 mission. It also, somewhat incidentally, offers a pretty cool take on a futuristic Mars colony. Those looking for a more in-depth look at Perserverance’s landing site, Jezero Crater, should check out the NASA video below.
What do you think about this visualization of Perseverance landing on Mars? Do you have any ideas on how to improve this already insanely impressive process? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!