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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Awesome Video of Perseverance's Landing on Mars

When we watched the landing on February 18, Elisa kind of complained that they were using simulations -- like the rest of us, she has come to expect actual video of important events.  Well, now we have it.  Actual video of the parachute deployment, the decent, heat shield separation, dust from the Sky Crane rockets, the whole thing.   Wonderful!   See above. 

The full press conference is worth watching:

Here we learn that the placement of these cameras was inspired by the sports camera that enabled one of the NASA/JPL guys to watch his daughter's gymnastic back flip from her perspective.  As they discussed the images from the spacecraft,  I found myself thinking of my little Astrocam Estes rocket in the Dominican Republic, our kite-camera adventures in the Azores, and the key-chain video camera that Billy and I flew on a rocket in the Shenandoah Valley. 

We also learn that the parachute color pattern contains a hidden message... (see below for the solution, worked out by a fellow in France.) 

One of the JPL guys noted that we've all had a tough year, and he hopes that these images will bring some joy to people.  Indeed. 

And wow, there are microphones!  They show the mic in the press conference video, and they play audio of the sound of Martian wind. 

There was a nice shout out to Sojourner from 1997 (the year my son Billy was born).  

Someone cracked the code in the parachute coloration: 

and the JPL Coordinates

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