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NASA’s Perseverance rover shares its top Mars photos from 2021

Ever since NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars in spectacular fashion in February, the highly advanced rover has been sending back extraordinary images of its new home.

This week NASA shared a video (below) featuring the images that were “liked” the most by earthlings that viewed them online.

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“My passion for rock collecting is matched only by my love of photography,” said a message on Perseverance’s official Twitter account. “Thanks for voting on your favorite new images each week — looking forward to many more to come!”

My passion for rock collecting is matched only by my love of photography. Thanks for voting on your favorite new images each week – looking forward to many more to come!

📷 View and “like” photos:
🗓 Image of the Week gallery:

— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) December 22, 2021

The first picture in the collection may look a little underwhelming but it’s surely the most important. Why? Because it’s the first one that Perseverance beamed back shortly after landing on the Martian surface, giving the mission team the first visual evidence of the rover’s safe arrival while at the same time confirming the integrity of the communication channels. The black-and-white image shows the Martian surface, a bit of the sky, and a shadow showing part of NASA’s Perseverance rover.

Other pictures popular among those following the Mars mission show lots of barren landscapes, a range of rock formations, and, of course, Ingenuity, NASA’s diminutive helicopter that in April made history when it became the first aircraft to perform powered, controlled flight on another planet.

We also see evidence of Perseverance’s drilling expeditions for the collection of rock samples. The material will eventually be transported to Earth for scientific analysis that could confirm whether microbial life once existed on the faraway planet.

Perseverance is equipped with a wide range of cameras, each one with different capabilities. Many of the photos you see here were taken by the rover’s Mastcam-Z device, which is capable of taking panoramic color photos and 3D images of the landscape, as well as high-definition video. You can explore all of Perseverance’s images on NASA’s website, which offers some pretty neat filtering tools so you can view the pictures by camera.

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