NASA's Perseverance rover cameras capture 'mission-critical' views of Mars — and an epic selfie -
Sep 24, 2021 1 min, 49 secs

NASA's Perseverance rover has compiled a variety of photos since landing at its new home on Mars in February, offering a more comprehensive view of the Red Planet and its ancient past. .

In photos: NASA's Mars Perseverance rover mission to the Red Planet .

– Perseverance rover collects 2nd Mars sample (photos).

The 1st panorama of Mars from the Perseverance rover.

The Perseverance rover touched down inside Mars' 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero Crater, which is believed to have been a massive lake and delta system 3.5 billion years ago.

The rover's SuperCam aids in the search for past life by firing a laser at mineral targets and analyzing the mineralogy and chemistry of the vaporized rock.

The Mastcam-Z imagers — commonly referred to as the rover's "eyes" — help scientists identify target locations and which features to zoom in on. .

In the image above, the bottom view, taken by the rover's Mastcam-Z, shows the base and plateau of the escarpment, while the top inset view is a mosaic of images taken by Perseverance's RMI from about 1.4 miles (2.25 km) away, according to the statement. .

Next to each Mastcam-Z imager is a Navcam, which are designed to help the rover drive around Mars autonomously.

At each stop, the rover uses its two navigation cameras to get a 360-degree view of the area.

The image below shows a view from one of the Navcams, taken on July 1, 2021, after the rover traveled 358 feet (109 meters), which was its longest autonomous drive at the time. .

The rover is also equipped with six hazard avoidance cameras, or Hazcams: four located on the front and two on the rear of the rover.

The rover's robotic arm dons three cameras to assist in the selection of those samples: WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering), SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals) — which includes an Autofocus and Contextual Imager (ACI), the rover's highest-resolution camera — and the PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry) Micro-Context Camera. 

Close up views such as this help engineers position the rover's drill for extracting rock core samples, according to the statement. 

Lots of 'parking' spaces to choose from," according to a Tweet from NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover page. 

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