Wow, what a ride through the skies of Barsoom (Mars, to you).
This video was shot and transmitted as Perseverance made it’s landing. The mission is to see if there is evidence of current or past life as we know it on the Martian surface. (Personally, I’m hoping to glimpse a thoat galloping by in the distance! Okay, that seems unlikely–but, I can hope!)
One of the many unknowns going into the mission was how well the batteries would hold up during the entry into the Martian atmosphere. It appears they’ve done quite well.
‘Seven Minutes of Horror’: How the Mars Rover’s Batteries Survived Landing
Excerpt: Lithium batteries sometimes make news for the wrong reasons: a tendency to catch on fire. For a mission to Mars, which cost over $2.4 billion and is far beyond the reach of astronauts for repairs such as those performed on the Hubble over the years, this would be catastrophic. It could happen; Mars’ atmosphere is thin but not non-existent.
“We make a carbon fiber heat sink, that’s part of the SHERLOC instrument on the Mars rover,” Mo explained. “We keep the laser and the sensors on that instrument in good operating condition. On Mars you have very hot as well as very cold temperatures. So those sensitive instruments need to be kept in a very nice ambient environment to operate so they can look for signs of life.”
Here’s a link to the article and video: