NASA’s Perseverance rover has brought the “family portrait” bumper sticker fad to a whole new world.
Raw images from the Perseverance rover, which safely landed on the surface of Mars last Thursday (Feb. 18), have revealed a small plaque featuring a lineup of little spacecraft.
At first glance, the small white decals may look like pixelated cats marching across the rover’s deck. But upon closer inspection, the symbols appear to represent all of NASA’s Mars missions that have made it to the surface of the Red Planet.
The rovers are lined up in the same order that they landed on the Red Planet: the Sojourner rover (1997), the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity (2004), the Curiosity rover (2012) and Perseverance.
Also included is the Ingenuity helicopter, which hitched a ride to Mars with Perseverance and will be the first to attempt to fly on another planet.
Moogega Cooper, the planetary protection lead engineer for the Perseverance rover, tweeted a photo of the family portrait just before it was attached to the rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where the rover was built.
Not pictured in the family portrait are the dozens of other landers that other space agencies have sent to Mars, or China’s Tianwen-1 rover, which is scheduled to land on the Red Planet this summer.