NASA’s Perseverance rover is the latest rover on Mars, scouring the surface of this ancient world and looking for signs that it may once have hosted life.
Perseverance landed in Jezero Crater on 18 February 2021, and its mission is to roam the surface and analyse rocks, pebbles, dust and sediment in the hope of finding tantalising glimpses that life once existed on Mars.
Today Mars is a barren, hostile world, but billions of years ago it was a much warmer, wetter place. There are signs that rivers once flowed on the Red Planet, leading planetary scientists to infer that it may once have hosted some kind of life.
NASA has released a video of Perseverance landing on Mars and audio of a Martian wind picked up by the rover’s microphone. There has also already been a wealth of images giving us new insight into conditions and topography on the planet’s surface.
Here are some of the most awe-inspiring images of Mars seen by Perseverance so far.
Perseverance’s images of Mars
A hi-res image showing one of Perseverance’s 6 wheels on the surface of Mars, captured on 19 February 2021 by one of the rovers Hazard Cameras, or Hazcams. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
A view of the rover’s deck captured by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams. Clearly visible is the PIXL instrument on Perseverance’s stowed arm. PIXL is the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry, which can analyse the chemistry of rocks and soil on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
A 360° panoramic view of Mars, captured by the Perseverance rover’s Navcams, or Navigation Cameras. This view of Mars was produced by stitching together 6 separate images. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
A 360° panorama of Mars captured by the Mastcam-Z, which is a zoomable pair of cameras on the Perseverance rover. This panorama was produced using 142 individual images captured by the rover on 21 February 2021. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSS
A wind-carved rock on the Martian surface, captured by the Mastcam-Z instrument as part of its first panorama of the planet. Credit: NASA/JPLE-Caltech
The rim of Jezero Crater – Perseverance’s landing place and area of study – captured in a 360° panorama by the Mastcam-Z instrument onboard the rover. This image is a section of the whole panorama, which can be seen on the NASA Mars website. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/ASU