Spectacular video of the Mars Perseverance rover landing

NASA has released video taken by multiple cameras as its Perseverance rover landed on the surface of Mars. The high quality of the videos show how far we have come from the grainy days of the first Moon landing.

The onboard helicopter Ingenuity will be making its first flight in a month or two, providing some aerial information but mainly as a test of such flights.

The team behind Ingenuity won’t get to test out the helicopter until at least a month after the pair have landed on Mars.

Shortly after their landing, the shield covering will drop and Ingenuity will separate from its robotic companion. After it detaches itself from the rover, the team on the ground has to ensure that Ingenuity passes a few initial milestones before they launch its first test flight. Ingenuity is powered through solar panels that charge up its lithium-ion batteries for one 90-second flight per Martian day.

This will be the first time that there has been controlled helicopter flight on another planet. Because of the very thin atmosphere on Mars that is about 1% of that on Earth, this takes some effort.

This video discusses the massive engineering challenges that had to be overcome.


  1. consciousness razor says

    The average surface pressure is only about 610 pascals (0.088 psi) which is less than 1% of the Earth’s value.

    About 0.6% of 1 atmosphere, to be a little more precise.

    Physics question: wouldn’t the different atmospheric composition factor into the lift as well? A little bit? I didn’t calculate anything, but I’m guessing it’s just not such a big of deal like the pressure is.

  2. consciousness razor says

    “not such a big deal”

    So many dumb typos lately…. I wish I could afford some new glasses.

  3. fentex says

    A thing that struck me about that video (and the talking one hears on it) is how little drama was there -- the process was exactly as previously depicted in animations of the plan. It came across as a much more ‘mature’ process than I think of it.

  4. Rob Grigjanis says

    cr @1:

    wouldn’t the different atmospheric composition factor into the lift as well?

    Definitely, since the mass density of CO2 is about 1.5 times that of air at the same pressure and temperature.

  5. Matt G says

    I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve watched these. Looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.

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