Last year was the year of Mars launches, and this one will be the year of Mars landings. The Hope Mars mission, launched by the United Arab Emirates, entered its orbit around Mars on February 9, while China’s Tianwen-1 rover, now orbiting the planet, will land in May. Meanwhile, Nasa’s Perseverance rover will land on the red planet come February 18.
NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover got its first high-definition look around its new home in Jezero Crater on Feb. 21, after rotating its mast, or “head,” 360 degrees, allowing the rover’s Mastcam-Z instrument to capture its first panorama after touching down on the Red Planet on Feb 18. It was the rover’s second panorama ever, as the rover’s Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, also located on the mast, captured a 360-degree view on Feb. 20.
A week after two space probes from China and the United Arab Emirates slipped into orbit around Mars, NASA’s $2.4 billion Perseverance rover will attempt to land on the Red Planet on Thursday. CBS News space analyst Bill Harwood joins CBSN’s Tanya Rivero for a closer look at what this means for the future of NASA and Mars exploration.