By the time you read this… PERSEVERANCE IS SAFE ON MARS! (Updated: Now with Pics!)

We’re at 3 minutes until Perseverance hits the Martian atmosphere. Are you watching?

The livestream is available at this link.

Chute opened, Perseverance now sub-sonic & under 10km altitude. Instruments have begun looking directly at Mars surface to direct the landing.

As soon as I hit update, they announced “radar lock” on the ground in the landing area.

“Valid solution” produced by nav system.

Velocity 83 m/s. Back shell has separated, altitude of 1000 m.

30 m/s, altitude 300 m.

Sky crane maneuver started…

20 m off the surface




touchdown confirmed!


“This is so surreal.”

“Stay tuned, we might get some pictures!”

“Still receiving a strong signal from the lander. … Perseverance is alive on the surface of Mars and we’re getting the first image.”

First image is one taken from when the lander was still in the sky.

First image from the surface is from the Nav camera, which is lower-res & just designed to avoid obstacles. Higher resolution has to wait for the wider-bandwidth connection to be established later in the day.

Now some big ol’ nerd talking about how working together brings success. WHAT. A. NAIF.


Student question from Landon Applegate! Wants to know about using resources present on Mars to help future missions instead of carrying everything with us. NASA Executive Assistant Vice-Nerd talks about an experiment that would test bringing up water from the soil & purifying it & even making oxygen from it.

Student question from Sophia Lopes! How will Perseverance survive? Jessica Stewart answers with information about the solar panels & heaters that help survival functions locally, but also shouts out to the human team who will constantly monitor the signals from the rover & work to prevent & diagnose problems that might threaten the probe.

Now it’s Wright Brothers footage introducing the helicopter-probe Ingenuity, the first powered aircraft we’ve sent to another planet.

Heh. They have a “chief pilot” for the helicopter. Heh.

Bob Balaram, Chief Nerd of Special Nerding Projects Related to Ingenuity (on Ingenuity’s helicopter flight experiment): “There’s a very good chance that we’ll pull it off, but there’s still a risk.”

Mimi Aung on now, also talking about Ingenuity: “We’ve been working on this for 6 years. … We have a series of major milestones [to pass] before Ingenuity’s first flight. …Surviving the first cold, frigid night on Mars will be a major milestone.” Goes on to talk about specific checks they’ll perform, and how the first flight will be only 3 meters just so that they can evaluate the performance before sending Ingenuity higher & farther, which, of course, comes with bigger risks.

Social media question: “Is the helicopter going to be doing science?”

Mimi replies: It’s a technology demonstration … “so we’re not doing science. We’re concentrating on engineering, data, on how [Ingenuity] will perform.” Of course, she’s underselling this, since validating the computer models is science, but hey. I think I understand why she answered “no” though.

And they’re now concluding this broadcast with a cover of Bowie’s Life on Mars with social-media shared photos of random people celebrating safe touchdown of Perseverance. It’s kinda cute, especially the kid with the Lego Perseverance.

LOL – and they threw in a tweet from Rick Astley. Well played, NASA, well played.

More updates as events warrant…


…but I guess they won’t warrant anymore. Still, when pictures become available later, I’ll probably throw them here. Might make a new post, but probably I’ll just update this one.


I always want to call it “Jezebel Crater”.


  1. springa73 says

    Excellent! I can hardly wait to see what Perseverance finds. (Though of course I will have to wait, many of the discoveries will probably not come until more than a decade from now, when samples are returned to earth.)

  2. Tethys says

    I love that David Bowie is featured in the news about the spacecraft that is actually looking for life on Mars.

    I look forward to more pics, and the eventual audio.

    It’s just sooo cool that we will get to see and HEAR what it sounds like on a far away planet.

  3. John Morales says

    … a far away planet

    Mmm. Third-closest. And, on an interstellar scale, all the planets of the Solar system are close.

    Hello, world. My first look at my forever home.

    That’s just as veridical as a letter from Santa Claus.

    The rover does not boast AGI.

    Still, not to be all dismissive, The Insane Engineering of the Perseverance Rover.

  4. Tethys says

    Still, not to be all dismissive,

    “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

    Is the opening line of an obscure movie known as Star Wars.

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