The Perseverance Rover Is Doing Just Fine On Mars — And It's Getting Ready To Send More Pix
"Great and healthy on the surface of Mars."
That's how scientists with NASA and JPL described the Perseverance Rover on Friday morning, nearly 24 hours after the robot touched down on the Red Planet.
JPL, which built the Perseverence Rover, today released a high-resolution image of the rover in midair, just before it touched down on Mars. The still image was pulled from video footage of Perseverance's touchdown. That footage is still being relayed to Earth and processed.
Right now, the team behind the mission is busy checking the rover's software and hardware to make sure everything is working properly. Pauleen Hwang, the Mars 2020 Strategic Mission Manager, says:
"We're going to do all of our instrument alignment checks on all of the rover. We're also going to do a helicopter checkout, which is at the bottom of the rover. We're going to proceed with our mast deploy, which has our mast instruments and camera. Once that's successfully deployed, on Saturday, we will proceed by taking lots of images with our mast camera."
Unlike with past rovers, the majority of Perseverance's cameras capture images in color. When NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012, it could only send a stop-motion movie of its descent, so Perseverance's optics are a significant improvement.
Weighing in at approximately one ton, Perseverence has six wheels, is 10 feet long, 9 feet wide, 7 feet tall and looks a little like Wall-E.
You can check out all of its images on the Perseverance's Twitter account... because it's 2021 and why wouldn't a robot have 1.8 million social media followers?