Life on Mars: NASA Releases Footage of Perseverance Rover's Landing

NASA released footage on February 23 of the Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars on February 18, with video showing the remarkable landscape of the Red Planet.

“This video of Perseverance’s descent is the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, in a press release. “It should become mandatory viewing for young women and men who not only want to explore other worlds and build the spacecraft that will take them there, but also want to be part of the diverse teams achieving all the audacious goals in our future.”

NASA also shared audio recordings taken on Mars. Credit: NASA via Storyful

Video Transcript

- 150 meters per second at an altitude of about 12 kilometers from the surface of Mars.

- Heat shield sep.

- Perseverance has now slowed to subsonic speeds, and the heat shield has been separated. This allows both the radar and the cameras to get their first look at the surface. Current velocity is 145 meters per second at an altitude of about 10-- 9 and half kilometers above the surface.

- Nav filter converged. Likely solution 3.3 meters per second, altitude 7.4 kilometers.

- Nav has radar lock on the ground. Current velocity is about 100 meters per second. 6.6 from the surface of Mars. Perseverance is continuing to descend on the parachute. We're coming up on the initialization of terrain relative navigation, and subsequently, the priming of the landing engines. Our current velocity is about 90 meters per second at an altitude of 4.2 kilometers.


- We have confirmation that the lander vision system has produced a valid solution and part of terrain relative navigation.


- We have timing of the landing engines.

- Backshell set.

- Her velocity is 83 meters per second at about 2.6 kilometers from the surface of Mars. We have confirmation that the backshell has separated. We are currently performing the divert maneuver. Her velocity is about 75 meters per second at an altitude of about a kilometer off the surface of Mars.

- Here in safety, Bravo.

- We have completed our terrain relative navigation. Current speed is about 30 meters per second. Altitude of about 300 meters off the surface of Mars. We have started our constant velocity accordion which means we are conducting the sky crane-- About to conduct the sky crane maneuver. Sky crane maneuver has started. About 20 meters off the surface.

- We're getting signals from Amarillo.

- Tango Delta.

- Touchdown confirmed. Perseverance safely on the surface of Mars, ready to begin seeking the sands of past life.