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NASA Perseverance rover snaps selfies at historic Mars sample site

No biggie. Perseverance is just stuffing rocks into tubes and taking selfies on another planet.

NASA's Perseverance rover captured a couple selfies at the "Rochette" rock sample site on Mars.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
This story is part of Welcome to Mars, our series exploring the red planet.

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover did something extremely cool: It collected two rock samples on Mars and stashed them into tubes that could one day be brought back to Earth. That achievement was worth a double-selfie celebration.

On Monday, NASA released a pair of rover selfies, one showing the rover "looking" at the rock it drilled for the samples, and the other showing it "looking at the camera." The difference is in the position of the head-like suite of instruments mounted at the top of its mast. 

The rock Perseverance sampled is nicknamed "Rochette." The selfie comes from Sept. 10, and the twin drill holes are clearly visible as two dark circles in the rock. The samples are now safely tucked away, and NASA hopes to send a future mission to retrieve them. The rover will be collecting more rocks as it continues its explorations.

Each version of the portrait is made from 57 images stitched together into a full view of the rover and its surroundings. The rover used a camera on the end of its robotic arm to gather all the shots together.

One key goal of the Perseverance mission is to seek out signs of ancient microbial life in the Jezero Crater, a region that was once home to a lake. The rover is busy studying its surroundings, and it's also looking fabulous while it's doing science. It was a perfect time to take a selfie to commemorate a historic event on Mars.