On February 18, 2021, the Rover of Perseverance landed on March using a parachute that caused a stir on Earth for the hidden message it contained. It is quite common for these types of vehicles to take pictures of themselves, selfies, or other parts of the lander they arrived at their destination with. However, Perseverance had to quickly wander off in search of their first survey area and was unable to take the relevant images. It will therefore have been necessary to wait more than a year for him to finally find and be able to photograph your parachute.
He did it on April 6, thanks to his camera MastCam-Zalthough the image was shared a few days later by the NASA engineer kevin mcgil. He posted it on his Twitter account along with a very simple text: “sun 404parachute found.
With this terminology, it refers to the day it was found. If we talk about April 6, we use terrestrial terms, but to talk about days on Mars we use the suns, which refer to the length of a solar day on this planet and correspond to 24 hours, 39 minutes and just over 35 seconds. There are no years, so the suns are counted from a specific time. In this case, Perseverance found its parachute 404 suns after landing on the red planet. A bit like when you find a note in the pocket of a coat. If a year has passed and you can’t even remember it, that’s even more exciting.
The long journey of perseverance
The Perseverance rover arrived on Mars in 2021 with several goals. From searching for signs of ancient microbial life to characterizing the planet’s geology and climate, all with the goal of paving the way for future human-crewed missions.
The landing took place exactly at the place planned, in the crater Jezero, but as soon as Perseverance landed there, she had to carry out her first mission. Scientists on Earth wanted me to start exploring South Seitaha region that belongs to the Jezero crater, but is far from where it first landed.
The road was somewhat rough, so getting there safe and sound was a higher priority than stopping to do something. pictures of your parachute or whatever. But his work there is already done.
To carry out his new missions, Perseverance had to retrace his steps and approach the place where he landed more than a year ago. This allowed him to photograph his parachute and, incidentally, beat a record. And it is that on this return trip he took routes with smoother terrain, which allowed him to reach higher speeds. It moved faster than any other Martian rover, setting a record on its 351st sol, when it traveled 319.8 meters.
Alone Opportunity, which landed in 2004, had crossed fertile ground to advance a little faster. But even so, he did not cover more than 228 meters in one day, according to what is said in Universe today. Therefore, Perseverance has beaten its mark more than enough.
In fact, the parachute was only lost for perseverance. And does the camera HiRISEof Mars reconnaissance orbiter which orbits Mars, had already taken a snapshot of a large area of land in which, among other pieces of the landing, we could see this element without which the descent would have been impossible.
Still, it’s interesting that Perseverance was finally able to photograph it as well. He is currently making the return trip, heading to a new point of exploration, in what appears to be the remains of a river delta. Passing near the first place where he landed, he found his lost parachute and thanks to MastCam-Z knew how to immortalize it. More than a year and two months to find him. Well seen, we have all found things lost in our homes after much longer. Whoever says no may be lying.