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NASA’s Mars rover sends back selfie of its first spin out on to Red Planet

NASA'sMars rover has sent a selfie on its first little spin on the Red Planet.

Perseverance's 33-minute Friday test drive across Jezero Crater has gone "incredibly well".

Mobility test bed engineer Anais Zarifan added the rover sent back images of its wheel tracks across the red Martian surface.

They mark a milestone since Perseverance landed on Mars on February 18 to begin its hunt for signs of alien life.

During the first drive, the rover drove forward 13 feet, performed a 150-degree turn to the left and reversed eight feet.

It was able to turn its cameras to the site where it landed and its mission will now see it go on drives averaging about 656 feet or more, CNN reports.

Ms Zarifan said: "When it comes to wheeled vehicles on other planets, there are few first-time events that measure up in significance to that of the first drive.

"This was our first chance to 'kick the tires' and take Perseverance out for a spin. The rover's six-wheel drive responded superbly.

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"We are now confident our drive system is good to go, capable of taking us wherever the science leads us over the next two years."

Other images sent back from the rover revealed more about the landing site.

It has been called Octavia E. Butler Landing in honour of the late science fiction author from Pasadena, California – from where the rover's mission is from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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Perseverance is set to go through more health checks before it begins a journey across Jezero Crater in search of ancient life.

It has received a software update that will help it explore Mars, and it has been testing out some of the on-board instruments.

The rover has also deployed two wind sensors on its personal weather station and has also been flexing its seven-foot-long robotic arm.

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The coming weeks will see it assess the rest of its science instruments and go on longer drives.

In the spring, the rover will deposit the Ingenuity helicopter on the Martian surface so it can prepare for test flights.

Perseverance has been sending back images every step of the way, totaling about 7,000 since landing.

Images captured by the rover are helping mission scientists plan Perseverance's route once she begins exploring.

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