Mars Gets Ready for Its Close-up
Play • 29 min

Mars Gets Ready for Its Close-up

Mars has fascinated Earthlings for millennia, ever since we looked skyward and found the red planet. Through telescopes, probes, and robots, scientists have gazed at its red rocks, craters, and canyons—and the latest rover, Perseverance, is poised to tell them much more about the planet’s past and present as sophisticated new cameras search for signs of ancient life. Join National Geographic writer Nadia Drake, NASA engineer Christina Hernandez and Mars Perseverance Principal Investigator Jim Bell for a behind-the-scenes look at how Perseverance will expose Mars in ways we’ve never seen before. 

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Magazine subscribers can learn about the Mars Perseverance mission through a series of beautiful graphics, including those of the instruments that will help the rover search for traces of ancient life. 

You can also read Nadia Drake’s article on why people are so “dang obsessed” with Mars, an explainer on the history of Mars exploration and how artwork over several centuries has shown how people have imagined the red planet

There’s also an interactive graphic of the red planet you can play with to learn about how it might have evolved over the last 3.8 billion years. 

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Humans could make it to Mars one day, but for now, our AR experience may be as close as you can get. See through the Perseverance rover’s eyes and share your own selfie on Instagram.

If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to to subscribe today. 

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