It’s been two weeks since NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars. The rover has been busy settling into its new home since then, testing components, flexing its wheels and robotic arms, and fixing damages incurred during the perilous landing on February 18 in preparation for its long journey ahead.
This week, Perseverance moved its robotic arm for the first time, marking a key milestone in the rover’s quest to search for signs of ancient life and collect rock samples for a future mission to bring back to Earth.
NASA is going to give a formal update on Perseverance’s first two weeks on Mars Friday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. You can watch the event on the agency’s YouTube channel.
Until we have further updates from NASA, below is a roundup of the most memorable moments of Perseverance on the Red Planet so far.
1) Perseverance tested one of its big wheels on Thursday. “Things are looking good as I get to roll,” the rover “said” on its dedicated Twitter account.
A quick test of my steering, and things are looking good as I get ready to roll. My team and I are keen to get moving. One step at a time. pic.twitter.com/XSYfT158AQ
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) March 5, 2021
2) The rover moved its robotic arm for the first time on Wednesday. The robotic arm holds a collection of complex instruments that will be used to collect and store rock samples in future assignments.
This week I’ve been doing lots of health checkouts, getting ready to get to work. I’ve checked many tasks off my list, including instrument tests, imaging, and getting my arm moving. Warming up for a marathon of science. pic.twitter.com/A0aqhWVo5T
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) March 3, 2021
3) The first 360-degree panorama of the rim of Jezero Crater, Perseverance’s touchdown site, taken by the rover’s Mastcam-Z camera on February 24.
4) A wind-carved rock seen in the 360-degree panorama taken by the Mastcam-Z camera on February 24.
5) Part of a 360-degree panorama of the horizon visible from Perseverance’s landing site. The panorama was stitched together from 79 individual images taken by Mastcam-Z on February 22.
6) The first 360-degree panorama taken by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard Perseverance on February 20. The panorama was stitched together from six individual images sent back to Earth.
7) The first photo sent back by Perseverance taken by one of the rover’s Hazard Cameras after landing on February 18. The view is partially obscured by a dust cover.
8) An image of Perseverance taken by a camera aboard its descent stage during the landing on February 18.