Photos | NASA’s Perseverance rover makes safe landing on Mars

NASA workers raise arms and clap in celebration in mission control
After receiving confirmation that the Perseverance rover successfully touched down on Mars, members of NASA’s rover team react in mission control on Thursday at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.
(Bill Ingalls / NASA)
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NASA’s newest rover touched down safely on the surface of Mars at 12:55 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday, completing a 293-million-mile journey through space and setting the stage for a mission that seeks to find evidence of ancient extraterrestrial life.

Members of NASA's Perseverance rover team clap and point to a screen with a Mars 2020 logo
Members of NASA’s Perseverance rover team react as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars.
(Bill Ingalls / NASA )
Members of NASA's Perseverance rover team react as the first images arrive.
Members of NASA’s Perseverance rover team react as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, February 18, 2021 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
(Bill Ingalls / NASA )

The six wheels of the 2,260-pound Perseverance rover landed in Jezero Crater, a former lakebed once fed by flowing water that scientists say would have been a welcoming home for microbes in Mars’ warmer, wetter past. If they’re right, the remains of those long-dead microbes should now reside in the sediments there.

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NASA workers at rows of computers in mission control
The NASA team watches the first images arrive moments after Perseverance touched down on Mars. A key objective for Perseverance’s mission is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life.
(Bill Ingalls / NASA)
A screen shows images from Mars rover
Staffers monitor images from Mars on Thursday at mission control.
(Bill Ingalls / NASA)
A massive outdoor screen shows a livestream of Mars rover landing
People watch a livestream tracking the landing of NASA’s Perseverance from Piccadilly Circus in London on Thursday. The rover has been traveling through space since launching from Cape Canaveral at the end of July.
(Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images)
NASA members in masks sit at rows of computers in mission control
Members of NASA’s Perseverance rover team study data on monitors in mission control.
(Bill Ingalls / NASA)
Rover image of Mars surface
The first image sent by the Perseverance rover showing the surface of Mars, just after landing in Jezero Crater.
(NASA)
People look at a computer with a digital clock seen in reflection
NASA’s Perseverance rover team studies data on monitors in mission control.
(Bill Ingalls / NASA)
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French President Emmanuel Macron and others sit in front of a projector screen
French President Emmanuel Macron gives a thumbs-up while watching the Perseverance landing from the French National Center for Space Studies in Paris on Thursday. Perseverance carries the SuperCam instrument, built by a U.S.-France team of several dozen engineers and scientists.
(Christophe Petit Tesson / Pool Photo)
A man in glasses and a mask is illuminated by glow of a screen
Ian Jones, chief executive of Goonhilly Earth Station, a radio communications site in England, watches live signals arrive from NASA’s Perseverance rover as it lands on the surface of Mars.
(Hugh Hastings / Getty Images)
Long plume of exhaust trails a rocket launching into the sky
An Atlas V rocket with the Perseverance rover soars to space after lifting off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 30.
(Gregg Newton / AFP/Getty Images )