Mars rovers are machines, but it’s hard not to anthropomorphize them and give them cute nicknames like «Percy» and «Oppy.» NASA’s Perseverance rover just sent back a charming selfie-style photo showing its «face.»
NASA’s most recent rovers have all had a mast with a suite of instruments on top that’s thought of as the rover’s «head.» Cameras mounted on the mast give us thrilling views of the Martian surface. Perseverance’s new photo is the equivalent of looking the rover in the «eyes.»
The head selfie comes courtesy of the Sherloc Watson camera mounted on the rover’s robotic arm, which snapped the picture on Tuesday. It’s reminiscent of a similar headshot selfie taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover in 2018.
Space fans back on Earth are also eagerly awaiting the first official full-body selfie. We already got a spectacular panorama showing quite a bit of the rover in late February.
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Perseverance arrived on Mars in mid-February and has had a full slate of activities, including snapping landscape views, dropping off the experimental Ingenuity helicopter and zapping interesting rocks with a laser. The next big milestone for the rover is to watch Ingenuity attempt its first test flight later this month. Expect more thrilling visuals to come.