NASA’s new Mars Rover “Perseverance” is sending back some amazing photos, just a day after landing on the red planet!
The first captures the moment before landing -- we’re expecting to see some video of this next week.
The moment that my team dreamed of for years, now a reality. Dare mighty things. #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/8SgV53S9KG— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 19, 2021
Read: NASA rover Perseverance lands on Mars: How it went, and what’s next
A couple of others show the rocky surface surrounding the Rover:
An open horizon, with so much to explore. Can’t wait to get going. #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/hAaxeVGs04— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 19, 2021
I love rocks. Look at these right next to my wheel. Are they volcanic or sedimentary? What story do they tell? Can’t wait to find out.#CountdownToMarshttps://t.co/7w3rbvbyoL pic.twitter.com/H3q1M0YJAd— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 19, 2021
Every picture tells a story. This one captures me in midair, floating over Mars while hanging from my parachute during the final #CountdownToMars.— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 19, 2021
Latest update and images: https://t.co/fnnEOOMWsV pic.twitter.com/39aGp963a3
Perseverance, the biggest, most advanced rover ever sent by NASA, became the ninth spacecraft since the 1970s to successfully land on Mars, every one of them from the U.S.
The car-size, plutonium-powered vehicle arrived at Jezero Crater, hitting NASA’s smallest and trickiest target yet: a 5-by-4-mile strip on an ancient river delta full of pits, cliffs and rocks. Scientists believe that if life ever flourished on Mars, it would have happened 3 billion to 4 billion years ago, when water still flowed on the planet.
Over the next two years, Percy, as it is nicknamed, will use its 7-foot (2-meter) arm to drill down and collect rock samples containing possible signs of bygone microscopic life. Three to four dozen chalk-size samples will be sealed in tubes and set aside to be retrieved eventually by another rover and brought homeward by another rocket ship.
The goal is to get them back to Earth as early as 2031.