SEE IT: First Photos Of Mars From NASA’s Perseverance Rover

As part of NASA’s search for signs of life on Marks — and their most ambitious attempt since the Viking missions in the 1970s — the Perseverance rover landed safely on Mars at 15:55 Eastern Time. After traveling for almost seven months since leaving Earth, the rover transmitted its first photo of the planet’s surface.

On its Twitter account, “NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover” tweeted “Hello world. My first look at my forever home.”

The rover, which is equipped with instruments designed to allow NASA to identify evidence of fossilized life, landed in the 28 mile-wide Jezero Crater near the planet’s equator.

According to the BBC, “Billions of years ago, when Mars was wetter, Jezero held a lake that could have supported primitive microbial organisms.”

Soon after its first post, the NASA Perseverance Mars Rover account tweeted its second photograph, saying “And another look behind me. Welcome to Jezero Crater.”

NASA’s Acting Administrator Steve Jurczyk congratulated the NASA Perseverance team on its successful touchdown, saying: “What an amazing team to work through all the adversity and challenges that go with landing a rover on Mars, plus the challenges of COVID.”

The last time NASA landed a rover on Mars was in 2012, with Curiosity.

The progress of NASA’s Perseverance was described by the rover’s account on Twitter, including: “This is it. I’m entering the top of the Mars atmosphere. No looking back. Seven minutes to touchdown,” and: “Here goes! Lighting the engines on my ‘jetpack’ for final descent. Wheels down in less than a minute.”

Then, after safely landing, NASA’s Perseverance announced its arrival on Mars, saying: “I’m safe on Mars. Perseverance will get you anywhere.”

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