NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover has performed its first drive on Mars. The space agency on Friday showed images of the rover's wheel tracks on the surface of the Red Planet. (March 5)
ROBERT HOGG: I am happy to report that yesterday afternoon we carried out our very first drive on Mars. Here we're looking out the front of the Rover and you can see our first tracks on Mars and this is just so amazing to see last night. And we're really happy about this.
ANAIS ZARIFIAN: You'll see what our first ride actually did yesterday. So, our plan, which executed perfectly, was to first drive four meters forward, that's about 13 feet, make a 150 degree turn of the left counterclockwise, and then back up about 2 and 1/2 meters, about eight feet. And then during that drive we took a pause to image the touchdown contact patch on the tires, so where the tires made contact. Or the wheels I should say, where the wheels made contact with the ground when we landed.
You can see the wheel tracks that we left on Mars. I don't think I've ever been happier to see wheel tracks and I've seen a lot of them. And this is just a huge milestone for the mission and the mobility team.