NASA’s 1st Mars rover touched down 25 years ago


It was on Independence Day 25 years ago that a little rover named after a Civil War abolitionist parachuted and tumbled to the Red Planet’s surface on airbags.

NASA’s first-ever Mars rover, dubbed Sojourner, touched down in Chryse Planitia on July 4, 1997, atop its landing vehicle, Pathfinder. The pair of spacecraft heralded a revolution in Mars exploration technology that NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance rovers continue to this day, a quarter century later.





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