'Stunning': The Mars rover image that may become iconic

NASA scientists on Friday presented striking early images from the picture-perfect landing.

The color photograph, likely to become an instant classic among memorable images from the history of spaceflight, was snapped by a camera mounted on the rocket-powered "sky crane" descent-stage just above the rover as the car-sized space vehicle was being lowered on Thursday to Martian soil.

The image was unveiled by mission managers during an online news briefing webcast from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Stehura is a deputy lead for the mission's descent and landing team. Hwang is the strategic mission manager.

Video Transcript

- I can definitely say that when we saw this image-- I think we can flash it again. But seeing the Rover hanging underneath the sky crane underneath our rocket-powered jet pack, I mean, this is something that we've never seen before. It was stunning, and the team was awestruck. And you know, there is just a feeling of victory that we were able to capture these and share the world.

- It couldn't have been better. We were just kind of like on cloud 9. And all of us were just saying we were kind of in this weird dream-like state. We're like we can't actually believe that this is what we're seeing, like, right now at this moment. The science team immediately started looking at all those rocks and zooming in and going, what is that?

- [INAUDIBLE] Mars history is the Rover.