NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars
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NASA’s Perseverance Rover has sent the space agency its first colour images from Mars, including one of the machine lowering to the surface. The image shows cables attached to the rover, which stem from the parachute which helped its descent.
According to a tweet from the NASA-run Perseverance Twitter account, the image was taken just moments before it touched down.
The tweets said: “The moment that my team dreamed of for years, now a reality. Dare mighty things.
“This shot from a camera on my ‘jetpack’ captures me in midair, just before my wheels touched down.”
NASA said: “This is our first colour image from the surface of Mars.”
Although images from Mars have shown the planet in its vibrant red colour before, these images had been colour corrected.
This means that they were edited back on Earth to restore the images to their full glory.
However, the latest image shows the Red Planet being exactly what it says on the tin, without the need for human interference.
NASA said: “Unlike with past rovers, the majority of Perseverance’s cameras capture images in colour.
“After landing, two of the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) captured views from the front and rear of the rover, showing one of its wheels in the Martian dirt.”
Another image from Perseverance shows one of its wheels on Mars’ dusty terrain.
A tweet from Perseverance said: “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.”
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A third shows a landscape of Mars, with such fine detail that you can spot individual rocks on the surface.
NASA said in a statement: “This is the first high-resolution, color image to be sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) on the underside of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover after its landing on Feb. 18, 2021.
“A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life.
“The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).”
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