NASA shows video of rover's Mars landing

·2-min read

NASA has unveiled a first-of-its-kind video the Mars Perseverance rover captured as it touched down on the red planet, and released the first audio recorded on the surface of Mars.

The minute-long footage is of the rover recording itself while landing on the planet on February 18, the first time such video has been captured.

It shows the parachute deployed for landing, and the Martian surface below, with the rover getting slowly closer to landing, and dust on the surface being rapidly disturbed before it finally touches down.

The agency also released audio of the first sounds ever recorded from the surface of Mars.

A microphone on the rover captured a gust of wind on the red planet, and the sounds of Perseverance.

The agency also released new images the rover took on the Martian surface.

A panoramic image of the planet from the landing site shows the red rocky surface with mountains and a delta visible in the distance.

The rover blasted off from earth last July. It took more than 11 minutes for news of the safe landing to reach earth, arriving on Friday morning AEDT.

Perseverance - a laboratory the size of a car - will scour for signs of ancient microbial life in a mission that will bring back samples to earth and prepare the way for future human visitors.

Scientists know that 3.5 billion years ago Jezero was the site of a large lake. They believe that while the water may be long gone, evidence that life once existed there could be waiting within the crater or on its rim.

Perseverance will gather rock and soil samples using its drill and will store the sample cores in tubes on the Martian surface ready for a return mission to bring about 30 samples to earth in the early 2030s.

It will also trial technologies to help astronauts make future expeditions to Mars.