Last Thursday, NASA’s Perseverance Rover landed safely on the surface of Mars. The feat was a marvel of science, engineering, and technology. It was a reminder that using intelligence, science, and logic can push the envelope of what we as a species can learn, explore, and accomplish. I have been fascinated by space and the human exploration of space since I was a kid and that will never change.
In my opinion, the above video is one of the most important pieces of footage that has ever been recorded. It shows in high-definition, in colour, and at a high frame rate, the actual decent and landing of the Perseverance, shot from multiple angles. When you consider that this happened millions of kilometers from Earth and we are now able to watch this as easily as last night’s hockey highlights, it is simply stunning that this video exists.
I’ve watched this video many times now and I’m just in awe that I am to see the Martian atmosphere catching the parachute, making it ruffle in the wind. That’s actual Martian air making that happen. Then as the rover gets close to the Martian surface, the thrusters kick up a storm of Martian dust. Something that we made on Earth traveled millions of kilometers to Mars and was able to make all that dust swirl around. I remain in awe.
While as amazing as the landing was, there’s more to look forward to. In a few weeks, the helicopter that the rover brought along will attempt the first powered flight on a planet other than Earth. Exciting!