Watch the Perseverance Rover’s Landing Process From Its Perspective & Hear the Surface of Mars

NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance has several cameras that record high resolution footage to give us these never before seen views of our neighbor Mars and the landing process it takes to get there.

NASA and JPL also released this amazing audio giving us an opportunity to hear what standing on Mars sounds like with the noise of the rover filtered out:

and including the noise from the rover:

NASA/JPL’s Perseverance Rover Safely Landed on Mars Today

NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory put out a statement after the successful landing:

The largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world touched down on Mars Thursday, after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles (472 million kilometers). Confirmation of the successful touchdown was announced in mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 3:55 p.m. EST (12:55 p.m. PST).

Packed with groundbreaking technology, the Mars 2020 mission launched July 30, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The Perseverance rover mission marks an ambitious first step in the effort to collect Mars samples and return them to Earth.

Perseverance Lands on Mars Today

Ars has a guide to what’s going on with the new exploring metal guy today, the automated navigation system that will guide the rover to a safe landing, and a little bit about the first-of-it’s kind drone that will launch from Perseverance.

You can tune in to watch the status of the mission via NASA TV and elsewhere starting at 2:15PM/1415 EST.

49 Years Since The First, 46 Years Since The Last

On July 20th, 1969, humans first stepped onto the Moon with Apollo 11’s mission. That was 49 years ago and it’s been 46 years since Apollo 17’s final landing. We haven’t been back since.

Today, the US space program is in shambles. Much of it has been given over to private entrepreneurs. It’s a global embarrassment that humans haven’t been back, and 2019 will be the 50th anniversary of that first Moon landing.

There’s some hope that if people can work together across borders, we might see another manned mission to the moon by 2029 or 2030.

Let’s Intimidate NASA

Image via NASA

Loren Grush for The Verge:

Two weeks ago, Sidd Bikkannavar flew back into the United States after spending a few weeks abroad in South America. An employee of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Bikkannavar had been on a personal trip, pursuing his hobby of racing solar-powered cars. He had recently joined a Chilean team, and spent the last weeks of January at a race in Patagonia.

Bikkannavar is a seasoned international traveller — but his return home to the US this time around was anything but routine. Bikkannavar left for South America on January 15th, under the Obama Administration. He flew back from Santiago, Chile to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas on Monday, January 30th, just over a week into the Trump Administration.

Bikkannavar says he was detained by US Customs and Border Patrol and pressured to give the CBP agents his phone and access PIN. Since the phone was issued by NASA, it may have contained sensitive material that wasn’t supposed to be shared. Bikkannavar’s phone was returned to him after it was searched by CBP, but he doesn’t know exactly what information officials might have taken from the device.

Read the full article.

My conspiracy theory/guess is that it wasn’t his name (as the rest of the article supposes) that caused the detention. The detention was just a tool getting more access to JPL and NASA through the CBP even if it was temporary. The CBP has defied court orders in order to continue enforcing Trump’s constitutionally illegal ban on Muslims from seven countries. It wouldn’t be surprising if the CBP were being used to access information from (and intimidate) reality-based agencies of the government that won’t collaborate with Trump’s administration.