The United States began the journey to Mars exploration in 1976 when the Viking Lander I successfully landed on the Martian surface. Since then, NASA has made continual efforts to explore and research Mars to eventually have a human mission sent to Mars and on July 30, 2020 launched the Perseverance rover, which landed on Thursday.
NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used two different cameras to create this panoramic selfie, comprised of 60 images, in front of Mont Mercou, a rock outcrop that stands 20 feet tall on March 26, 2021, the 3,070th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. These were combined with 11 images taken by the Mastcam on the mast, or "head," of the rover on March 16. The hole visible to the left of the rover is where its robotic drill sampled a rock nicknamed "Nontron." The Curiosity team is nicknaming features in this part of Mars using names from the region around the village of Nontron in southwestern France. Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
Members of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover team watch in mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, on February 18. Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA
The first photos taken by NASA's Perseverance Mars rover after landing on the Martian surface on February 18. A key objective for Perseverance's mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. Photo courtesy of NASA
The Empire State Building in New York City is illuminated in red on February 16, 2021 to celebrate the coming landing on Mars of NASA's Perseverance rover, expected on February 18. Photo by Emma Howells/NASA