NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has posted an interactive 360-degree view of the Perseverance landing site on Mars in 4K resolution. It’s the latest jaw-dropping imagery to return from the mission, including that incredible video of the rover plunging through the Martian atmosphere before being “skycraned” down to the surface of the red planet.
The 60-second video was captured by Perseverance’s color Navcams perched atop a sensing mast above the rover. The 360-degree scene can be navigated in a browser or in the YouTube app on your phone or 4K smart television. The images were captured on February 20th, two days after the Perseverance landed in the Jezero Crater.
Perseverance has a total of 23 cameras, the most of any Mars rover to date: 16 for engineering and science and another seven that recorded those dramatic images of entry, decent, and landing. Audio captured at the landing site by Perseverance’s microphones has also been posted to NASA’s Soundcloud account.
NASA image showing location of the two color Navcams. Image: NASA
NASA’s Perseverance mission has already made public a total of 4,796 raw images to date. Perseverance is capable of transmitting data at rates up to 2Mbps to the orbiters overhead. The Mars orbiters then relay the data back to Earth using their much larger antennas and more powerful transmitters. The video of the vehicle descending down to the surface amounted to about 30GB of images stitched together.
The Perseverance rover is designed to seek signs of life and better understand the ancient geology of Mars. It will spend at least one Mars year (two Earth years) exploring the area around the landing site.