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Video of Perseverance, “the first” of a ship landing on another planet

Miami, Feb 22 (EFE) .- The US space agency NASA released this Monday the first video of Perseverance’s landing on Mars and also the first sounds recorded by the microphones installed on the space vehicle, which descended at full speed last Thursday to land in the Jezero crater of the red planet. This is the first video recording “of a spacecraft landing on another planet,” said Matt Wallace at a press conference this Monday, assistant manager of the Mars 2020 Perseverance project at NASA’s Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in the south of California (USA). The video, according to the experts of the space agency, shows the “violent” operation of the descent of the robot, which in seven minutes since it crossed the thin atmosphere of Mars reduced a speed of 20,000 kilometers per hour with which it reached the planet to zero . One of the dramatic images shows the opening of the supersonic parachute after it detached from the capsule that carried the space vehicle and also the fall of Perseverance producing a cloud of dust already close to the surface of Mars. The high-definition cameras on board the robot managed to record the action from the moment the parachute was inflated to the entire descent process. The footage, taken by various cameras installed in the capsule that transported the vehicle and in Perseverance itself, begins 11 kilometers (7 miles) above the surface and ends with the landing of the “rover” in the Jezero crater. Last Friday, NASA had already released the first color photographs of the Martian surface taken by Perseverance and today released many thousands of others, including one in which the “rover”, the capsule that transported it, is seen scattered on the ground. , the overhead crane that gently lowered it, known as the “Skycrane” and the parachute. THE SOUND OF SILENCE “Perseverance is just getting started and has already provided some of the most iconic images in the history of space exploration,” NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk told reporters. He added that the event reinforces “the remarkable level of engineering and precision that is required to build and fly a vehicle to the red planet,” the fifth “rover” that NASA puts on Mars. “Thousands” of images emerge from the videos that are being analyzed by NASA scientists, who have already begun to classify the rocks they have seen, including light, perforated, dark, and regolith. The Jezero crater was chosen by NASA because it is believed that it was a lake in which a river flowed and therefore it can be rich in fossil microorganisms, among them volcanic stones that facilitate the reading of the age. During the press conference, the federal agency also released “the first sounds recorded on the surface of Mars” captured on February 20 thanks to the incorporation of two microphones in the “rover” for the first time. In the first segment you hear the space vehicle and a loud noise from the wind, and in the second some wind, but mainly a silent Mars. In addition to the new interpretations about the Martian surface and its rocks, the images derived from the video, especially those of the landing, will serve for analysis during “years and years” of these dangerous landing maneuvers. Allen Chen, Perseverance’s entry, descent and landing leader, said that while it “behaved as expected,” they observed three details that need to be analyzed and improved, one of them related to the supersonic parachute. “I can watch these videos for hours and keep seeing new things every time,” Chen said. Mission teams at JPL collected 30 gigabytes of data and more than 23,000 images of the vehicle descending to the surface. They stated that they are currently undergoing a comprehensive review of all their systems and instruments, including the Ingenuity Mars helicopter, which will make the first controlled and powered flight on another planet if all works well. Perseverance, which left Earth in July 2020, also carries a device that will transform carbon dioxide, which accounts for 96% of the Martian atmosphere, into oxygen, for the respiration of astronauts on future manned trips and as a propellant for rockets to return to Earth. The robot is tasked with searching for ancient life, taking samples, studying the geology and climate of the red planet, and preparing the way for a manned journey. (c) EFE Agency

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