Best Mars Photos NASA's Perseverance Rover Has Taken in Six Months

Wednesday marked exactly six months since NASA's Perseverance rover touched down on the surface of Mars.

Since then the robot has broken through numerous milestones, including recording audio from the Martian surface and even creating oxygen.

The rover continues to capture the public's imagination with thousands of photographs beamed back from the planet's surface, and its collection is growing all the time.

Below, Newsweek has compiled a selection of photographs from the Martian surface, deemed to be the best either by the Perseverance team or by the public, who can vote on their favorite photograph every week.

Selfie with Ingenuity

Perseverance selfie
Perseverance's selfie, captured April 6, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

On April 6, Perseverance took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter—the airborne rover that was carried to Mars inside Perseverance's underbelly.

This photograph, which is a cropped version of the full one, was taken using the WATSON camera located at the end of the rover's long robotic arm. The full photo is composed of 62 separate images stitched together.

Ingenuity's second flight

Ingenuity in the air
Ingenuity mid-flight, captured April 22, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

On April 22, Perseverance captured this photo of the Ingenuity helicopter mid-flight in what was its second time taking off.

The purpose of Ingenuity is to demonstrate the technology necessary for flight on Mars, which could be useful for exploration rovers in future.

This image was taken using Perseverance's left Mastcam-Z camera.

Perseverance spotted from the air

Perseverance seen from the air
Perseverance photographed from Ingenuity, captured April 25, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech

This photo shows the entire Perseverance rover on Mars, as seen from a camera onboard the Ingenuity helicopter during its third flight on April 25.

The helicopter was flying at roughly 16 feet above the planet's surface when it snapped this photo, which is heavily zoomed in.

A full version of the photo can be found here.

Thruster scorch marks and wheel prints

Tracks in the dust
Tracks left behind by Perseverance, captured March 5, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech

This photo, taken on March 5, shows the first wheel tracks that Perseverance made a couple of weeks after landing.

A few feet beyond the wheel tracks, a lighter coloration in the dust marks the spot where Perseverance's descent stage fired its landing thrusters and scoured the ground back when the rover touched down in February.

This image was taken using one of Perseverance's navigation cameras.

Pillar of dust

Pillar of dust
A pillar of dust seen on Mars, captured June 15, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

This photo appears to show a pillar of dust above the Martian surface.

It was taken on June 15 using Perseverance's Left Mastcam-Z camera and won the "Image of the week" award between June 13 and June 19 via a public vote.

Perseverance's robotic arm

Perseverance's robotic arm
Perseverance's robotic arm, captured July 15, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech

This photo, which won the "Image of the Week" award between July 11 and July 17, shows Perseverance's robotic arm extended outwards.

The image was taken on July 15 using the rover's Left Navigation Camera.