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

NASA's Perseverance rover (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) of the Red Planet.

Related: 5 weird things Perseverance brought to Mars (opens in new tab)
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NASA's Perseverance Mars rover mission (opens in new tab)

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

Also included is the Ingenuity helicopter (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) just before it was attached to to the rover at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where the rover was built. 

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

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Hanneke Weitering

Hanneke Weitering is an editor at with 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.