Visit NASA Perseverance rover's Mars crater in a gorgeous flyover video

It's the next best thing to actually landing in Jezero Crater.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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Images of the red planet from ESA's Mars Express spacecraft can be used to create dramatic perspectives of the Martian surface.


If all goes well Thursday, NASA's Perseverance rover will triumphantly land in the Jezero Crater on Mars and get a look at its new home for the first time. Us humans will be following from afar, but we can get an idea of what'll greet the rover through an exciting flyover view of the crater.

The European Space Agency (ESA) released a video this week that gives us a fun perspective on the crater, which was once a giant lake. The footage uses data from ESA's Mars Express spacecraft along with some renderings that make it feel like you're soaring over the landscape.

You'll need to provide your own dramatic soundtrack. One or two David Bowie songs come to mind.

Mars Express images are used to create digital terrain models to give scientists a better idea of the nooks, crannies, hills and valleys of the Martian surface.

"The detailed data from Mars Express has been used to support the selection of numerous landing site candidates, including that of NASA's Mars 2020 mission that will see Perseverance rover land in Jezero Crater this week," ESA said in a statement Tuesday.

Perseverance will look for signs of ancient life, collect rock samples and release its companion machine, the Ingenuity helicopter, during its stay on Mars. ESA's flyover video is a good way to get hyped for the rover's arrival on the red planet.

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