NASA Perseverance rover reveals glorious first images of Mars surface

After a dramatic and safe landing, NASA's newest Mars rover has a look around at its new digs and spots some interesting rocks.

NASA's Perseverance rover sent back its first look at the Mars surface, on Feb. 18, 2021.

This story is part of Welcome to Mars, our series exploring the red planet.

NASA's Perseverance rover survived its seven minutes of terror and touched down in one piece on the surface of Mars on Thursday. To celebrate, the rover beamed back some first looks at its surroundings.

The initial low-resolution images came from an engineering camera used for navigation and spotting hazards. The rover's main high-quality cameras will eventually send back some luscious landscape photos. The first views were a sign of success and a strong initial indication of the rover's health.

The first image showed a rocky and dusty place with the rover's shadow stretching over the ground. "Hello, world. My first look at my forever home," the Perseverance team tweeted.

NASA shared a second image showing the view behind the rover with a tweet saying, "Welcome to Jezero Crater." The crater was once home to a lake and will allow the rover to look for signs of ancient microbial life on the currently inhospitable planet.

NASA shared a second image from Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, with this look behind the Perseverance rover.


The second image bears a resemblance to the first, showing a rocky view stretching out as far as the rover's eyes can see. 

On Friday, NASA shared an intriguing new view of one of the rover's wheels. The wheel is fun, but what's even more interesting are the rocks on the ground, which appear to be full of small holes or pits.

This view from Mars shows a Perseverance rover wheel and some intriguing rocks on the ground nearby.


 "I love rocks. Look at these right next to my wheel. Are they volcanic or sedimentary? What story do they tell? Can't wait to find out," the Perseverance team tweeted.  

We can expect more and higher-resolution images from the red planet as Perseverance settles in and gets to work exploring its new home.

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