Earlier this afternoon saw NASA's new Mars rover Perseverance finish its 203-day, 293 million mile trip to the red planet and official touch down on the surface. Mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California confirmed the successful touchdown at 3:55 p.m. EST. Almost as soon as Perseverance made its landing, NASA shared the first photos from the surface that the rover had beamed back. Also as quickly as those photos and the snappy dad jokes of the Perseverance Twitter account arrived also came the memes. You can see the official photo from the Mars surface that Perseverance took today and the hilarity that followed below.
“This landing is one of those pivotal moments for NASA, the United States, and space exploration globally – when we know we are on the cusp of discovery and sharpening our pencils, so to speak, to rewrite the textbooks,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk in a press release. “The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission embodies our nation’s spirit of persevering even in the most challenging of situations, inspiring, and advancing science and exploration. The mission itself personifies the human ideal of persevering toward the future and will help us prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet in the 2030s.”
Perseverance was described by NASA as being "about the size of a car" and clocking in at 2,263 pounds. For the next couple of weeks it will be subject to tests by NASA to make sure it's suited to continue its main mission, a two year study of Mars’ Jezero Crater where it will study the rock, sediment, and river delta to learn more about the geology of the area and what the past climate of Mars was like. The press release also notes, that Perseverance's mission will be to search for "signs of ancient microbial life."
“Because of today’s exciting events, the first pristine samples from carefully documented locations on another planet are another step closer to being returned to Earth,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA. “Perseverance is the first step in bringing back rock and regolith from Mars. We don’t know what these pristine samples from Mars will tell us. But what they could tell us is monumental – including that life might have once existed beyond Earth.”
We've got two years worth of new details about Mars to learn from Perseverance so buckle up everyone!
Welcome to Jezero Craterprevnext
Spoilers: Germs killed the martiansprevnext
This meme is still going huhprevnext
If you know, you know
This footage from the Mars rover seems troubling pic.twitter.com/XyrXC4ZkZt— carternixon (@CarterNixon) February 18, 2021
This R2 unit has a bad motivator
The Mars rover already making discoveries. 😳 pic.twitter.com/J38nNidC4R— Jacob Brill (@JacobbBrill) February 18, 2021
Kramer go to Mars
BREAKING: First image from Mars rover released! pic.twitter.com/tsAMH7ePTC— James "subscribe to my newsletter" Schapiro (@JSchapiro_SBR) February 18, 2021
BRING HIM HOME
This pic from Perseverance Mars Rover is pretty intriguing pic.twitter.com/jNavMORsOU— Dan Koepke (@spoondan) February 18, 2021
Perseverance wins today
I’m safe on Mars. Perseverance will get you anywhere.February 18, 2021