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NASA’s Perseverance rover snapped the images for this lovely Mars panorama on Feb. 20, 2021.


NASA/JPL-Caltech

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

After a triumphant arrival last week, NASA’s Perseverance rover has had a chance to catch its breath and take a good long look around the red planet. On Monday, NASA unveiled new images and video from Mars, including a gorgeous panorama showing the rover’s view of its new home, Jezero Crater.

The panorama is made up of six images snapped by the vehicle’s navigation cameras on Feb. 20, 2021. It shows a wide, dusty and rocky landscape. The crater was once home to a lake and the rover will be looking for signs of ancient microbial life in the area


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“Landing on Mars is a rush of tension, drama, and noise. Then, when the dust clears: tranquility and grandeur,” the Perseverance team tweeted on Monday along with a video version of the panorama.

On Monday, NASA also released an eye-popping video of the landing process and audio collected from the surface by a microphone on the rover. The agency shared some additional photos of interest, including a view of the rover’s deck and its stowed arm.

The Perseverance rover snapped a look at its deck and stowed arm on Feb. 20, 2021.


NASA/JPL-Caltech

It’s notable how clean the rover looks after its dusty landing. NASA is currently checking systems and preparing for surface operations, which will eventually include dropping off the experimental Ingenuity helicopter and collecting samples for later return to Earth.


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There’s one more notable image that was revealed by NASA on Monday. This one doesn’t come from the rover itself. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) looked down at the landing area with its HiRise camera and spotted all the different components of the arrival process scattered across Mars.

This MRO image of Mars shows Perseverance and all the assorted bits used and discarded during the landing process.


NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

The annotated image shows the parachute and back shell, the descent stage, the rover itself and the discarded heat shield that protected the machine as it blasted through the atmosphere. 

MRO’s long-distance view is the perfect counterpoint to the Perseverance panorama and close-up. It’s a big planet and there’s lots to explore.

Follow CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to stay up to date with all the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your own Google Calendar.    





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