The Perseverance robot, which arrived on Mars on February 18, has already sent us more than 20,000 images of the planet, captured with the 23 cameras (mostly in color) it has on board. And after photographing rocks, whirlpools and even helicopters, he had time to follow a NASA tradition: a selfie.
The image was posted on Tuesday (6) on the rover’s official Twitter account, with the caption “Portrait of the artist as a young robot”.
The photo was taken with an instrument called Watson (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and Engineering), a high-resolution camera developed to photograph rocks and mounted on the tip of the rover’s robotic “arm”.
The large circular lens in the upper right corner of the robot’s head is the SuperCam, a laser spectrometer used to analyze the composition of rocks. The two “silver rectangles” around the neck are the Mastcam-Z lenses, the “eyes” of the robot. They were created to take 3D photos and record high resolution videos.
The name is a combination of “Mast”, the “mast” it is mounted on, “cam”, camera and “Z” zoom, a feature unprecedented in a Martian rover. According to NASA, the magnification is strong enough to see a fly at a distance equivalent to the length of a football field.
The two circular openings on the sides of the Mastcam-Z are another camera, the Navcam, which is used for navigation and also for taking 360 degree panoramic photos of the terrain. In addition, Perseverance has front and rear obstacle detection cameras, Hazcams (Hazard Hazard).
NASA’s other rover operating on Mars, Curiosity, also “used” to take selfies. This is not a matter of vanity, but a way that NASA engineers have found to visually inspect the condition of their robots.
Unfortunately, they will not meet. The distance between Jezero Crater, where Perseverance is located, and Mount Sharp, home of Curiosity, is over 3,700 km