No, That’s Not the Footage of NASA’s Perseverance Rover!

Divya Chandra
·4-min read

A viral video showing visuals of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover with manipulated audio is being shared to claim that it shows the organisation’s Perseverance rover that touched down on the red planet on 18 February.

CLAIM

BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar quote tweeted the video that had been viewed over 25 million times and shared it with the text: “Amazing @NASAPersevere.”

You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/wYlrJ" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>.
You can view the archived version here.

The video saw it’s widespread presence on Facebook and Twitter with some claiming that the audio heard in the viral video is “the first recorded audio of what it sounds like on the red planet”.

You can view the archived version <a href="https://perma.cc/D3TX-MZNJ" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here.</a>
You can view the archived version here.
You can view the archived version <a href="https://perma.cc/PJR6-JBH5" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here.</a>
You can view the archived version here.
You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/Wv1TW" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here.</a>
You can view the archived version here.
You can view the archived version <a href="https://archive.is/1JkXp" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here." class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here.</a>
You can view the archived version here.

Also Read: Exclusive: NASA’s Swati Mohan On Perseverance, Passion & Diversity

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

While scanning the replies on Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s tweet, we found that a user had suggested that it’s an old footage from NASA’s Curiosity rover.

We conducted a reverse image search on the video and came across a report published by NASA on 4 March 2020 wherein the organisation had released highest-resolution panorama of the Martian surface captured by Curiosity rover.

The report also carried a video that showed the panaroma and NASA Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada narrating the rover's view of the Martian surface.

VIRAL VISUALS AND CURIOSITY ROVER – IT’S A MATCH!

On comparing the viral visuals with the panorama released in March 2020, we found several similarities between the two.

Left: Viral video. Right: NASA’s Curiosity rover.
Left: Viral video. Right: NASA’s Curiosity rover.

One can see ‘Curiosity’ written at the end of the viral video. The same text, written in the same font, features in Curiosity rover’s panorama as well.

Left: Viral video. Right: NASA’s Curiosity rover.
Left: Viral video. Right: NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Further, NASA's Perseverance rover had sent some images of the red planet, including a high-resolution colour selfie, a day after it made a successful landing on Mars on 18 February.

However, the structure and shape of the Perseverance rover is different as compared to the one seen in the viral video.

WHAT ABOUT THE AUDIO?

The audio in the viral video, it is not from the Perseverance rover as NASA has not yet released any kind of audio captured by the rover.

As per a report by NASA, the said rover will not only capture images and rock samples on the red planet, but it may also record some sounds from Mars.

“The rover carries a pair of microphones, which – if all goes as planned – will provide interesting and historic audio of the arrival and landing at Mars, along with sounds of the rover at work and of wind and other ambient noise,” the report added.

Further, we came across a tweet by Simon Stähler, a seismologist, who claimed the audio used in the viral video is of NASA InSight’s seismometer.

In April 2019, NASA had published a report titled: “NASA’s InSight Lander Captures Audio of First Likely ‘Quake’ on Mars”.

The report includes an audio file that shows the first recorded “trembling that appears to have come from inside the planet, as opposed to being caused by forces above the surface, such as wind”.

However, we haven’t been able to independently verify whether the audio heard in the viral video is indeed the one that was released by NASA in 2019.

Evidently, a manipulated video showing visuals of NASA’s Curiosity rover was circulated with the false claim that it is of Perseverance rover.

(Update: The story incorrectly mentioned that the Curiosity Rover landed in March 2020. The error is regretted.)

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