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NASA Just Dropped a Stunning New 360-Degree Video of Mars

Explore the Red Planet through the eyes and ears of NASA's Perseverance rover.
IMAGE NASA/JPL-CALTECH/ASU/MSSS
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Now you can view Mars through the eyes and ears of NASA's Perseverance rover.

The agency just released a 360-degree view of the Van Zyl Overlook, where the rover was perched over a month ago, according to a June 9 NASA statement. The panorama consists of 992 images that Percy's Mastcam-Z instrument caught between April 15 and 26. Off in the distance, eagle-eyed viewers can spot the Ingenuity helicopter and even a couple of debris covers that the rover left behind.

The rover landed on the Red Planet on February 18 and has kept busy ever since. One of the instruments on board, MOXIE, has aced a critical test and pulled about five grams of oxygen from the planet's thick carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. The rover has snapped a number of pictures and even recorded the first-ever sounds on Mars. Ah—the dulcet tones of a twirling Martian dust devil!

Experience Mars in Virtual Reality

To fully immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Mars, plug in your VR headset and navigate to this video on YouTube. Don't have one? Here's a list of our top picks. If you're on your desktop, use the arrows or drag your cursor around to pan across the landscape.

On April 22, the Ingenuity helicopter, a first-of-its-kind technology demonstration, became the first powered vehicle to soar through the skies of another world. This week, the 4-pound helicopter conducted its seventh flight, traveling almost 350 feet across Jezero Crater.

Now, Perseverance is kicking off its primary science mission—finding evidence of ancient life amid the rocky soils on Mars. If everything goes according to plan, the rover will gather samples of Martian rock and dirt for collection by another rover in the coming decade. Ultimately, that mission—currently set to launch in 2026—will bring these samples home to Earth for analysis.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Jennifer Leman
Writer, Esquire U.K
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