Perseverance Mars rover goes for a test drive amid detailed checkouts

Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are continuing to put the Perseverance Mars rover through its paces, thoroughly checking out its complex systems before deploying an experimental drone and then beginning science operations. During tests of the rover’s mobility system, a microphone captured the sounds of its six metal wheels crunching across the surface. This image, captured by the rover’s left-side navigation camera on 7 March, shows the robot’s tire tracks in the dusty soil of Jezero Crater. The rim of the crater is visible on the horizon, along with mesa-like remnants of an ancient river delta that may hold signs of past microbial life. NASA has posted an audio file

Perseverance makes tracks on Mars. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech