How NASA's Perseverance Rover took its first selfie

Watch (and hear) how NASA's Perseverance Rover took its first selfie

The rover took the selfie using the WATSON camera

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took 62 individual images with its WATSON camera, before they were stitched together into a single selfie. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA's Perseverance rover took its first and most epic selfie with the Ingenuity rover on Mars in April. The Perseverance rover about the size of an SUV, weighing a metric ton, is equipped with 10 cameras and two microphones. 

In a video released by NASA, Vandi Verma, Perseverance’s chief engineer for robotic operations at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shared the complex process behind the historic selfie.

The rover took the selfie using the WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) camera. In NASA's video, Verma explains that the camera was designed to take close-up images of rocks for scientific analysis, and even with the extended arm of the rover, the entire rover is not covered in the image.

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She further explains that the final image was one that was made using multiple images being stitched together. This image was created by "keeping the WATSON camera sensor in the same position and taking the different images."

Verma also said that it took "up to an hour of arm motion and imaging" for the entire selfie.

In the video, she shared answer to the most common question asked after the release of the selfie, "why wasn't the robotic arm visible in the selfie?"

She says that the robotic arm was moving between the different image frames, and enough overlap was created between the images so that the arm was not visible.

The video even goes on to share how the rover sounded while taking the selfie.

Watch the video here:

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