Perseverance Landing: Pictures From JPL and Mars

Picking up where I left off yesterday, Perseverance is on Mars.

The UAE’s Hope (Misabar Al Amal) and China’s Tianwen-1 had already arrived.

Misabar Al Amal is historically important. It’s the UAE’s first Mars orbiter.

But today I’ll be talking about Perseverance, JPL, NASA — but mostly how I feel about yesterday’s and today’s events.

Which reminds me. NASA released a couple more images today. They’re at the end of this journal entry.

As for how I’m feeling, and why, what I said a couple years back pretty much says it all.

“I’m one of those folks who read dictionaries for fun. If I had more finely-tuned social skills, I might be a geek. I’ve been told I’m a nerd. I won’t deny it….”
(“Be Not Afraid of Geekness” (April 6, 2019))

About the pictures:

  • Eight are screen captures from NASA/JPL coverage of the Mars 2020 landing
  • The selfie Perseverance took during landing is from NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • The image from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera is from NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona
  • The ‘geek/nerd’ cartoon is from someone using 909sickle as a moniker

Now, the pictures and my off-the-cuff comments. Which may or may not have anything to do with the pictures.

JPL mission control, right after I started watching. Doesn’t look all that different from the Johnson Spaceflight Center’s mission control during the Apollo flights. A tad more streamlined, different color scheme. Folks wearing face masks. Okay. That’s different.

Traditional Peanuts

You can’t have a mission without peanuts. Well, that actually is an option.

But back in the day, folks at JPL did their jobs while Rangers 1 through 6 failed.

Ranger 7 hit Earth’s moon, as planned and sent back pictures before doing so. Celebration ensued. And someone noticed that 1 through 6 had been peanut-free, but peanuts were available at mission control for 7: the one that worked.

Folks at JPL aren’t, I figure, superstitious. But I don’t blame them for having a “peanut” tradition, dating back to Ranger 7. I talked about that last year. (July 30, 2020)

This year was different. Pandemic precautions being what they are, JPL’s crew arranged for small peanut packs – and a reasonably cautious ‘one peanut under the mask’ procedure.

And Perseverance landed safely. I’m not superstitious — that’s not an option — but I have to problem with traditions. Including those involving peanuts.

JPL Jubilation

Another angle on JPL’s mission control. Like I said: sleeker tech, different colors. But pretty much like the Sixties, back in Houston.

One of the folks manning JPL’s mission control in 2021. Wait a minute. “Manning??”

Some things have changed.

I don’t yearn for the ‘good old days,’ and I’ve talked about that before. A lot.

Touchdown confirmed. Perseverance on Mars and apparently in good shape.

Carefully-spaced celebration back on Earth.

First image from Perseverance. From, I gather, an engineering camera. Not the best quality, in part because dust from the landing hasn’t settled yet. I think I heard that the transparent lens cap was still on, too.

Second picture from Percy/Perseverance. From another engineering camera. I don’t know why both are black and white – bandwidth, maybe??

A Selfie and a Snapshot

Now that’s a selfie! Perseverance being lowered into Jezero Crater.

I have one word for this. And the next picture. Wow.

Or would that be two words? One wow for each? Never mind.

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera caught this view of western Jezero Crater and the Mars 2020 mission’s parachute descent phase. Like I said, wow.

That’s about it for now. I wanted to share those pictures, and my enthusiasm for what’s happening on and around Mars, and I’ve now done that.

Next, the seemingly-inevitable links to somewhat-related stuff:

About Brian H. Gill

I'm a sixty-something married guy with six kids, four surviving, in a small central Minnesota town. I mostly write and make digital art. I'm only interested in three things: that which exists within the universe; that which exists beyond; and that which might exist.
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