It’s a good time to be a space nerd. Several missions are about to start on Mars, with NASA’s Perseverance rover being one of the most exciting — because it’s got its own helicopter, naturally. Last week the rover made it to the ground safely, now we get to check out the first snapshots of the Martian surface (not counting the potato-cam shots first shared to Twitter).
We hope you enjoyed the ride
NASA’s shared several images of Perseverance’s descent and landing — two of the best show the landing itself, from the point of view of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and from the rover’s descent stage — that lovely skycrane we’ve heard so much about.
Other images come by way of the agency’s full-colour Hazard Cameras or HazCams. Several other cameras, including Navigation Cameras (NavCams), a zoomable camera called the MastCam Z (because it lives on a mast), and then something called the SuperCam, which involves a laser. The header image for this page is taken from a video of the descent, which will probably be released soon. Once it’s completely processed, obviously.
Next up? Instrument testing, and then it’ll be “…at least one or two months until Perseverance will find a flat location to drop off Ingenuity, the mini-helicopter attached to the rover’s belly, and even longer before it finally hits the road, beginning its science mission and searching for its first sample of Martian rock and sediment.”