NASA’s Perseverance rover scoots around on Mars for the first time

A trail of wheel tracks left by NASA’s Perseverance rover after making its first drive on the Martian surface | NASA/JPL

Perseverance, the car-sized rover NASA landed on Mars last month, has taken its first spin on the rocky surface of Jezero Crater, NASA announced today. The rover’s six wheels drove about 21 feet to carry out a key mobility test on Thursday, as engineers back on Earth prepare to execute the mission’s core science objectives.

The rover’s six aluminum wheels left tracks on the Martian dirt — as captured by one of its on-board cameras — after driving straight for 13 feet, then turning around to back up 8 feet. Anais Zarifian, Perseverance’s mobility testbed engineer, told reporters it went “incredibly well” and performed better than it did during pre-launch tests on Earth.


An animation showing…

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