Sojourner leaving the "Rock Garden"
Taken in July 1999, this shows powerhouse Sojourner, the first rover on Mars, who outlived the original 7-day mission target by an additional 76 days.
Sojourner near the "Dice"
Wondering how NASA took these amazing Mars photos? The Pathfinder lander (who dropped off Sojourner) stuck around to document everything that happened.
Sojourner leaving an x-ray spectrometer on "Moe"
You can see the bottom panel of Pathfinder in this photo, as Sojourner completes its information gathering in December 1997.
Sojourner snuggling "Yogi"
Sojourner snuggles up to the rock “Yogi” in October 1997 to get a sample – finding that the rock is low in quartz and quite similar to basalt rocks on Earth.
Mars "blueberries" courtesy of Opportunity
Thanks to rover Opportunity in April 2004, we got this up-close and personal look at small mineral concentrations NASA has dubbed “blueberries” (for obvious reasons).
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Possible water on "Last Chance"
Taken by Opportunity in March 2004, this is a close up photo of 2 inches of the rock “Last Chance.” You can see more “blueberries” embedded in the rock, and the finding from this sample helped scientists learn that there was once water on Mars.
Opportunity sees it's shadow
In March of 2014, Opportunity took this shadow selfie from it’s rear facing camera showing how far NASA has come from the Sojourn days.
Opportunity checks out it's dust.
In this picture from December 2011, Opportunity takes a picture of it’s solar panels. Since there are no astronauts on Mars to clean off the panels, Opportunity must stay facing the sun and wait for gust of wind or for the end of winter until it can move freely again.
Opportunity looks back
Opportunity peaks back at the previous tracks while hoping from sand ripple to sand ripple to keep facing the sun during a Martian winter in March 2010.
Victoria Crater - Opportunity's home away from home
Victoria crater was the first major exploration area of Opportunity in September 2006, and its view from the air is amazing.
Entering the atmosphere of Mars is hard work, and in this picture (taken in January 2004), we get a look at what is left of the heat shielding that protected Opportunity during entry. Surprisingly, the shielding bent and turned inside out during landing!
Opportunity goes "Blueberry" Picking
Opportunity loves some martian “Blueberries” as shown in this close up of the martian soil taken in February 2004.
Spirit, Opportunity’s big sister, took this self portrait in August 2005 to show off how amazing she still looks after two years on Mars.
Spirit looks at Home Plate
In 2006, Spirit sampled two stones at “Home Plate,” leaving behind these two perfect circles. Wondering why Mars is blue? Blame NASA – it’s a false color image to enhance details.
Spirit explores the volcanic rocks at Lorre Ridge
In January 2006, Spirit discovered these volcanic rocks in Lorre Ridge, given the strange name of “FuYi.”
Spirit spots a "Dust Devil"
Similar to dust devils on Earth (think a very dirty small tornado), in Fall 2005, Spirit caught a glimpse of this busy dust devil whipping around the surface.
Curiosity climbs a mountain
In August of 2017, Curiosity rover began to climb the side of Mount Sharp. As you can see, it still has a way to go.
Curiosity surfs the waves
While sand ripples have been spotted on Earth and Mars before, this 2015 image is one of the first images of these large sand waves (roughly 10 feet across) on Mars.
A peak at Curiosity's undercarriage
Rarely do you get to see the bottom of a rover, but that’s exactly what this image is. In April 2016, the Mars rover team used one of Curiosity’s cameras to check on it’s wheels for wear and tear.
Curiosity's home from the sky
A rare look at Gale Crater, the home of Curiosity rover from NASA’s Odyssey orbiter. This is a great image for perspective of how small each rover’s exploration area is.
Curiosity uses it's ChemCam
Curiosity shows us details of Mount Sharp from below with its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument. From this angle, you can see the layers, mineral veins, and amazing erosion patterns that mirror cliffs here on Earth.
Secret Morse Code from Curiosity
To help mark distance traveled, retrace past trips, and generally provide a bit of fun, engineers at NASA designed a repeating pattern on Curiosity’s wheels that spell out JPL (for Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in morse code.
Curiosity finds more evidence of water!
Curiosity took this 2014 image of “Whale Rock” that shows unique cross-bedding (layers of rock at angles from each other) features that happen when water passes over loose sediment. This is more exciting evidence of water on Mars.
Another perspective on those ridges
Remember those ridges and ripples from earlier? Thanks to HiRISE (part of the Mars Orbiter), we have this amazing photo of those ridges from the air, showcasing how grand their scale really is.
Curiosity shares a selfie
What a better way to end a list than with a selfie taken by our most photogenic rover, Curiosity. Fair from the grainy black and whites taken by a partner lander, Curiosity’s selfie is a composite of multiple images taken by the rover to get a full view of the rover.
Wondering where the camera is? NASA explains it best: The selfie at Buckskin does not include the rover’s robotic arm beyond a portion of the upper arm held nearly vertical from the shoulder joint. With the wrist motions and turret rotations used in pointing the camera for the component images, the arm was positioned out of the shot in the frames or portions of frames used in this mosaic.