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NASA Mars 2020 rover workers snap the sweetest science selfie – CNET

Say cheese!

NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Mars 2020 rover is starting to look like it could tackle the Red Planet. The intrepid vehicle is in the assembly phase (you can watch NASA build it live) and the team is rightfully proud of the work. So it’s no surprise NASA workers snapped a heartwarming selfie to mark a major step in the build process.

The team attached the rover’s remote sensing mast in early June. NASA released a photo of the workers in full “bunny-suit” protective gear while holding up a phone to capture a selfie. The mast gives the rover the appearance of having a neck and head, which makes this selfie choice all the more adorable.

The mast is home to a group of cameras and instruments the rover will use to investigate Mars. A quick peek in on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s clean room live feed shows the car-sized rover also has its wheels on now. 

The rover is expected to launch in 2020 and reach the Red Planet in early 2021. Mars 2020 will be the first mission to gather up rock and soil samples and store them for later retrieval. Those samples could one day be returned to Earth.

We can also expect the rover to send back selfies, something NASA’s current Curiosity rover does with regularity. Mars 2020 is just getting in some early practice with striking a pose.

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