Perseverance has now landed safely on Mars and the mission team has been busy testing that the rover and its flying companion, Ingenuity, are in tiptop shape. Perseverance has also been busy sending back some images from its immediate surroundings, and NASA posted a phenomenal view of the rover as it was about to land.
That image shows Perseverance still tethered to the sky crane, about 2 meters (6.5 feet) above the Martian ground – and apparently, that’s only the beginning. NASA has announced that footage of the descent will be shown live during a press conference on Monday, February 22 at 2 pm ET (7 pm UTC).
The rover is equipped with 23 cameras as well as two microphones, so it is expected that the footage of its landing might also contain some exciting recordings of the Red Planet. Perseverance will be the first rover to be able to capture true audio from Mars. This leads us to another viral and Mars-related piece of media from the weekend.
You might have seen a video claiming to be the first one with actual audio from the Red Planet. But unfortunately, that is a bit misleading. The footage is from Mars, based on a 1.8 billion-pixel panoramic from fellow NASA rover Curiosity. A majestic 360 view created with 1,000 pictures of a region called Glen Torridon, on the side of Mount Sharp, where Curiosity was visiting in late 2019.
The new video has an added audio track, the origin of which is unclear. It is definitely not a recording of what the sounds of Mount Sharp are like, but it could be still Mars-related. Many have noticed the similarities between the audio and the recording of NASA’s InSight lander’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS).
The sonification of the first possible Marsquake back in 2019, with the tremors caused by the Martian wind, bears a remarkable similarity to the sound in this new viral video. So while the video appears to be made of genuine Martian observations, the total, in this case, is overselling the sum of its parts.
To truly see video and audio recordings from Mars, we will have to wait for Perseverance to be fully operative, so it will require a bit of patience on our part. However, NASA is really building up the excitement about the landing video so we might be truly getting a multi-sensorial experience of the Red Planet very shortly.
You can check the live conference in the video below: