The US space agency NASA released a spectacular panoramic view on Wednesday of the landing site of the Perseverance rover on Mars.
The panorama shows the rim of the Jezero Crater where the rover touched down last week and the cliff face of an ancient river delta in the distance.
It was taken by rotating the rover’s mast 360 degrees. The mast is equipped with dual, zoomable cameras which can take high-definition video and images.
The panorama is composed of 142 individual images stitched together on Earth, NASA said.
|This is the first 360-degree panorama taken by Mastcam-Z, a zoomable pair of cameras aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. The panorama was stitched together on Earth from 142 individual images taken on Sol 3, the third Martian day of the mission (Feb. 21, 2021). Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/ASU|
“We’re nestled right in a sweet spot, where you can see different features similar in many ways to features found by Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity at their landing sites,” said Jim Bell of Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration.
Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity were previous missions to Mars.
NASA said the rover’s cameras will help scientists assess the geologic history and atmospheric conditions of Jezero Crater and identify rocks and sediment worthy of a closer examination and collection for eventual return to Earth.
On Monday, the US space agency released the first audio from Mars, a faint crackling recording of a gust of wind captured by the rover’s microphone.
NASA also released video of the landing of the rover, which is on a mission to search for signs of past life on the Red Planet.