NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars is carrying an adorable 'family portrait' of Martian rovers

NASA's Perseverance rover has brought the "family portrait" bumper sticker fad to a whole new world. 

Raw images from the Perseverance rover, which safely landed on the surface of Mars last Thursday (Feb. 18), have revealed a small plaque featuring a lineup of little spacecraft. 

At first glance, the small white decals may look like pixelated cats marching across the rover's deck. But upon closer inspection, the symbols appear to represent all of NASA's Mars rover missions that have made it to the surface of the Red Planet.

Related: 5 weird things Perseverance brought to Mars
Live updates: 
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover mission

The rovers are lined up in the same order that they landed on the Red Planet: the Sojourner rover (1997), the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity (2004), the Curiosity rover (2012) and Perseverance. 

Also included is the Ingenuity helicopter, which hitched a ride to Mars with Perseverance and will be the first to attempt to fly on another planet. 

Moogega Cooper, planetary protection lead engineer for the Perseverance rover, tweeted a photo of the family portrait just before it was attached to to the rover at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where the rover was built. 

Not pictured in the family portrait are the dozens of other landers that other space agencies have sent to Mars, or China's Tianwen-1 rover, which is scheduled to land on the Red Planet this summer.

Email Hanneke Weitering at or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.