Life on Mars

A virtual tour of Mars now — and of its possible future

With Perseverance on Mars' surface, we have the opportunity to learn more about the Red Planet than ever before.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Perseverance sent back its first color photo of Mars not long after landing.NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA has also captured the first audio recorded on Mars. Enable sound above to hear it.NASA

Mars may even be home to evidence of ancient life.

And there are plans to bring human life to the Red Planet in the near future.

SpaceX

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Perseverance is our best chance to find evidence of life on Mars because of its landing site (marked here with a green dot) and equipment. The rover is tasked with finding signs of ancient life.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

The presence of clay and other sediment tells scientists that Jezero Crater used to be a lake.

NASA/JPL-Caltech
Signs of water also brought the Curiosity rover to Gale Crater in 2012.NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Curiosity has traveled over 15 miles of rocky terrain since then.NASA
At the start of its journey, Perseverance is sending back images of an area 2,300 miles from Curiosity's landing zone.NASA

“Perseverance is just getting started, and already has provided some of the most iconic visuals in space exploration history."

— Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk.

NASA

Landers have been touching down on Mars for decades but they've seen only a small portion of the planet.NASA/JPL-Caltech
Mars exploration could be just the first step toward colonization, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.Air Company

SpaceX

Musk has said the first settlers on Mars could live in domed cities.

SpaceX

SpaceX

He's also warned that the first batch of Martian colonists would probably die in the process of establishing it.

SpaceX

SpaceX

Plans by the start-up Air Company to make rocket fuel from carbon dioxide could make it easier to manufacture fuel on Mars.

SpaceX

NASA/Case for Mars

NASA once shared more modest concepts for a Martian base, created by the non-profit organization Case for Mars.

NASA/Case for Mars

NASA

But for now, Mars remains as uninhabitable as it was when the Viking lander sent its first images from the planet's surface.

NASA

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