Sometimes, orbiters spot ground-based friends as they make their rounds around Mars.
Perseverance makes a surprise appearance in a NASA image. The rover is visible as a small speck in South Stah, a region of the Jezero Crater, hundreds of kilometers above the planet.
This image shows the many instruments we use to explore this mysterious planet from far away and up close.
(NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona)
MRO's primary mission, which has been orbiting Mars since 2006, is to study the atmosphere, large-scale geology, and other aspects of Mars.
It's also supporting ground-based missions, the rovers Curiosity, Perseverance and the stationary, quake monitoring Mars InSight lander.
Curiosity's mission on Mars is to investigate the Gale Crater to find out more about Mars' climate and geology. It will also help us to assess whether Mars is or has ever been hospitable for life.
Percy takes a selfie of Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
Perseverance is a different skill that is used to collect more data about Mars' climate and geology. It is also responsible for looking for signs of life such as fossils of microbes from a time when Mars was wetter than it is now.
The South Stah area is made up of a series ridges that are covered in sand dunes, and are sprinkled with boulders or shards. Perseverance just collected a small sample of rock from Mars's youngest region. This sample will be used to return it to Earth in a future mission. South Stah, which is believed to be much older than the rest of Mars, should offer an interesting contrast.
Perseverance's helicopter Ingenuity was sent ahead by Perseverance upon its August arrival in South Stah to take photographs so that the Perseverance crew could determine if the area is worth further exploration.
But, more science will have to wait. Mars is currently in opposition, which is on the opposite side to the Sun from Earth. This happens approximately every two years.
Our star blocks communications between Mars missions, Earth and Mars. We won't receive or transmit transmissions until mid October.
We hope that the orbiters, lander, and rovers have a wonderful time.