The cruise stage of Perseverance's journey has ended, and it has arrived at the Red Planet. Perseverance has just started what NASA refers to as the "seven minutes of terror." This is when the rover essentially has to land itself on Mars with no help from NASA, due to a one-way 11 minute time-delay.


The ground teams tell the spacecraft when to begin EDL (entry, descent and landing) and the spacecraft takes over from there — and mission control begins an agonizing wait.


The spacecraft hits the top of the Martian atmosphere moving at 12,000 miles per hour and has to slow down to zero miles per hour seven minutes later when the rover softly lands on the surface.




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