While the world eagerly watched Thursday as NASA’s Perseverance rover successfully touched down on Mars, snapshots flooded social media of excited viewers striking a pose on the Red Planet.
Most were courtesy of NASA’s Mars Perseverance photo booth, a virtual photo op where you can upload a picture to see yourself (or a certain curmudgeonly senator) posing on Mars, next to NASA’s robotic rover or the Atlas V rocket that launched it into space, or on the ground at mission control. It’s one of several interactive features the agency created for space lovers to get in on the hype, including several themed social media filters, an interactive launch packet, and a 3-D tour of the Perseverance.
“Welcome to Mars! We can’t take you to Mars (yet!) but we can bring the Red Planet to you,” reads NASA’s photo booth page.
NASA originally rolled out its suite of Perseverance-themed online goodies last summer, but the rover’s much-anticipated launch this week prompted a fresh wave of pseud0-Mars selfies on Twitter, Instagram, and the like.
— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) February 18, 2021
— Erin Biba (@erinbiba) February 18, 2021
— Laura Keeney ???????????? (@LauraKeeney) February 18, 2021
NASA’s rover successfully landed on Mars at 7:55 a.m. AEDT on Friday, touching down in Jezero crater, the site of a former lake and river delta. The 1,025 kg rover will putter about the Red Planet for the next two years searching for evidence that it once harbored microscopic life.
The Perseverance, which is now the fifth rover to reach the Martian surface, is one of three missions to arrive at the planet this month along with the UAE’s Hope probe and China’s Tianwen-1 mission.