Fact check: Viral video doesn’t reveal sights, sounds of Mars from Perseverance rover

The claim: Viral video shows Perseverance on Mars

NASA’s newest robotic explorer, the Perseverance rover, touched down on the planet of Mars on Feb. 18, ending its 300 million-mile journey from a Florida launch pad. 

Following its landing, social media was flooded with news reports, videos and photographs of the rover and those involved in the NASA control room.

Among the onslaught of posts expressing excitement over the rover’s safe landing on the red planet were videos and photographs that misrepresented or misidentified Perseverance and what it could see on Mars.

One example is this viral video, which includes a panoramic view and audio of Mars, with claims that the footage is from the Perseverance rover.

The caption reads, “Early video from NASA Perseverance, Mars. Stunning.”

USA TODAY has reached out to the poster for comment.

Video shows 2019 footage from Curiosity rover

The 26-second video includes audio and pans around the brown landscape. 

This video is from Mars but is not footage from Perseverance. It is actually from the Curiosity rover, the title of which is visible in the last few seconds of the video in the bottom left corner.

The footage from Curiosity, which looks like a video in this format, is actually a panoramic photograph from 2019, which can be seen here. 

The sound in the video is also not genuine because the Perseverance rover will be the first rover to have microphones operating on Mars. NASA didn’t release the first audio files until Feb. 22, and instances of this video claiming to be Perseverance started appearing on social media prior to that.

Previously, NASA has captured seismic vibrations from Mars, but it has not recorded sounds from the surface of the planet like the post claims.

Our ruling: False

The claim in the post has been rated FALSE. Neither the video nor the audio footage in the Facebook post is from the Perseverance rover. The footage is actually a panoramic photograph from the Curiosity rover. Also, the sound in the video is not authentic.

Our fact check sources:

  • USA TODAY, Feb. 19, “Perseverance rover successfully lands on Mars, a key step in NASA’s search for signs of life”AP News, Feb. 19, “Viral video does not include actual sounds from Mars”
  • NASA Mars Exploration Program, “Curiosity’s 1.8-Billion-Pixel Panorama”
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Dec. 7, 2018, “Sounds of Mars: NASA’s InSight Senses Martian Wind”

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