Readers React: Your responses to Perseverance’s touchdown on Mars

We asked our readers for their thoughts and reactions to the rover’s safe landing and upcoming mission on the Red Planet.
By | Published: February 19, 2021 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
The Perseverance team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena point to the first image that the rover transmitted after its successful landing.
NASA/Bill Ingalls

Perseverance, NASA’s newest Mars rover, successfully touched down on the Red Planet on February 18, completing an interplanetary journey that began when it launched on July 30. The rover’s accomplishment sparked excitement and celebration across the world — and with our readers, as well.

Throughout the landing day, we asked our Instagram followers for their reactions after the rover touched down and why they were excited for Perseverance’s mission to begin on our neighboring planet.

Many expressed overall joy for the success of the rover’s landing:

Others were looking forward to Perseverance’s upcoming mission:
Perseverance is the first Mars spacecraft to be mic’d up: It’s equipped with two microphones which will record the sounds of wind and even the rover itself as it traverses the martian landscape.
The Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment, or MOXIE, is one of several brand-new elements to Perseverance’s mission. MOXIE’s goal is to capture carbon dioxide molecules in the air and split them into carbon monoxide and oxygen particles. Producing breathable oxygen from the martian atmosphere is a step towards the technology needed for humans to take on Mars themselves.

Perseverance also brought with it a small prototype helicopter drone named Ingenuity that will take to the martian skies in a series of test flights. Officially, Ingenuity doesn’t have any science objectives to meet — instead, it’s considered a tech demo to prove that flying drones in Mars’ thin atmosphere is feasible.

After Ingenuity’s test flights, Perseverance will spend its time on Mars searching for signs of ancient microbial life. Perseverance will also collect and store rock samples, which will hopefully be sent to Earth one day for intensive lab studies — more detailed than could be carried out remotely with onboard instruments.

But for now, Perseverance is safe and ready to begin its life on Mars — to investigate our red neighbor’s ancient past, and help pave the way for humans to finally step foot on another planet.