ORLANDO, Fla. — Data coming in from the Perseverance rover on Mars is already sending back something new — images in color.

What You Need To Know

  • NASA released several early images from Mars's rovers landing

  • 1 image was a video still from the landing of the rover

  • Others were taken with high-resolution color cameras

  • RELATED: Perseverance Rover Lands Safely on Mars

Unlike previous rovers sent to Mars, NASA says most of the Perseverance's cameras take color images, which are now being sent back. Officials with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory released some color images Friday. The team promised more images to come. 

The first shows Perseverance as it landed on Mars, just a few meters off the ground and kicking up dust as it is slowly lowered onto the surface. The image is actually a still from video of the touchdown that is still being sent back to Earth for processing.

Adam Steltzner, the chief engineer for the project, said the first image was exciting, comparing it with other iconic space photos, like Buzz Aldrin on the moon, or images from the Hubble Telescope. 

"When we do such investments, we do them for humanity, and we do them as a gesture of our humanity," Steltzner said.

A second image is the first high-resolution, color image to be sent back using the Hazard Cameras, which are on the rover's underside. 

A third image gave scientists not only a look at Perseverance's wheels, but also a closer look at some of the rocks on the planet. 

Later Friday, pyrotechnic charges will release Perseverance's mast, which have cameras that will take panoramas of the rover's surroundings.

Meanwhile engineers and scientists are poring over the initial data from Perseverance, which should lead to more pictures. But it will be weeks before Perseverance gets on the move, or releases its mini-helicopter, Ingenuity, to aid with further study.


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