The first Mars photos from Perseverance are here

By Maria Korolov

NASA has been releasing photos as they arrive from Mars.

I still can’t get over how cool it is that we were getting radio signals minutes after the rover set down — as quickly as the speed of light allowed — and that we’ll be getting photos and videos from a surface of another planet as we search for signs of life.

Photograph of Perseverance’s landing. (Image courtesy NASA.)

The image above is part of a video taken by several cameras by the descent stage as NASA’s Perseverance rover touched down on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021.

The descent stage then flew off to the side to get out of the way.

Here’s a diagram of the whole process:

This illustration shows the events that occur in the final minutes of the nearly seven-month journey that NASA’s Perseverance rover takes to Mars. (Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech)

You can read more about the details of the landing here.

Here’s a picture of the descent stage falling through the atmosphere, hanging from its parachute, taken from the a camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

HiRISE photographed Perseverance during descent to Mars. (Image courtesy NASA.)

This is an awesome shot, especially when you consider that the orbiter was about 435 miles away and traveling at about 6750 miles per hour when the photo was taken.

And then we’ve got the pictures taken by Perseverance itself.

This is the famous one, which you may recognize from all the Twitter memes featuring Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders.

Perseverance’s first full-color look at Mars. (Image courtesy NASA.)

 

 

The photo was taken by the hazard cameras on the underside of the Perseverance Mars rover after its landing on Feb. 18, 2021.

According to NASA, this is a color photo. So… Mars is looking a little dull these days. I can’t wait for the terraforming. (Check out Green Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson if you like reading about that kind of stuff.)

And here’s a picture of one of Perseverance’s wheels.

Perseverance’s big wheel. (Image courtesy NASA.)

 

We don’t have any wide-angle photos of Perseverance, but while we’re looking forwarding to getting some selfies, here’s an artists rendering of what it looks like:

Mars 2020 Rover artist’s concept. (Image courtesy NASA.)

Is that awesome, or what?

We did that. And by “we” I mean not me, but other people. But I paid my taxes, so I contributed. Yeah, I helped.

Maria Korolov