NASA has revealed some brand new, awe-inspiring images from its Perseverance rover mission following a historic landing.
The Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars on Thursday as part of a mission to search for signs of ancient life on the red planet, and on Friday, NASA released some new images from the mission. Among them was one taken during the landing; as NASA explains, "while NASA's Mars Curiosity rover sent back a stop-motion movie of its descent, Perseverance's cameras are intended to capture video of its touchdown and this new still image was taken from that footage."
According to CNBC's Michael Sheetz, this is actually the first time NASA has ever "captured images of a spacecraft landing on another planet," and engineer Aaron Stehura during a Friday news conference said the team was "awestruck" after getting this photo back.
"This is something that we've never seen before," Stehura said. "It was stunning, and the team was awestruck. There was just a feeling of victory that we were able to capture these and share it with the world."
Indeed, Katie Stack Morgan, Perseverance deputy project scientist, said it was "incredible" seeing the photo, explaining, "We're used to the engineers showing us animations of the rover, and that's at first what I thought this was, and then I did a double take and said, 'That's the actual rover!'"
NASA also revealed the first color image from Perseverance, which NASA's Hallie Gengl noted is "really high resolution compared to what we've seen before on other previous missions." Another picture showed the rover's front right wheel on the planet's surface.
NASA expects to have more images ready for Monday, with Stehura noting, "We're all chomping at the bit."