The Mars Perseverance Rover has been sharing thousands of images since it landed on the surface of the Red Planet on February 18. This past week, the rover sent back a few landscape photos of its position taken by its MastCam-Z, juxtaposed with an aerial view from orbit.
NASA first published an image of the Perseverance’s location on the planet via an enhanced photo taken by HiRISE, six days after the rover touched down on the surface. From the orbital view, the landing site appears to be covered in loose dark material with something brighter underneath.
“You can see the two bright zones to the sides of the rover that have been scoured clear by the descent stage rockets and the dark material appears to have been funneled outward both in front and behind the rover,” HiRISE scientist Shane Byrne writes in a blog post. “HiRISE can see Perseverance every few days by rolling the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to the side as it passes overhead (eighteen degrees for this image). Perseverance is about 3 by 2.7 meters (10 feet by 9 feet) in size and is about 290 kilometers (180 miles) away from HiRISE in this image.”
The photo was shared on Twitter by the HiRISE account, to which the Perseverance’s account was quick to respond.
“Thanks for looking out for me, HiRISE. Long before I got here, you helped map this place out. Now we’ve got a whole new perspective. So much to explore,” the account wrote and shared a beautiful landscape image of the area from the rover’s point of view.
Earlier today, the Perseverance shared another photo of the surface, this one positioned in a different direction where many rocks dot the foreground while a mountain in the background is obscured by dusty haze.
These high-resolution images were taken with the Perseverance Rover’s MastCam-Z, a feat of engineering that is capable of capturing 3D images and video and features some impressive technology. You can read more about the Mastcam-Z here.
Perseverance has spent the majority of its time on Mars thus far performing health checkups on its systems in preparation for its mission.
This week I’ve been doing lots of health checkouts, getting ready to get to work. I’ve checked many tasks off my list, including instrument tests, imaging, and getting my arm moving. Warming up for a marathon of science. pic.twitter.com/A0aqhWVo5T
— NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) March 3, 2021
On March 5 at 12:30 PM PT, NASA will be hosting a live stream where it will discuss the many “firsts” that the Perseverance has achieved in its short time on Mars.
Image Credits: Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech