NASA’s first Mars rover landed 25 years ago

It was 25 years ago on Independence Day when a small rover named after a Civil War abolitionist parachuted and crashed to the surface of the red planet with airbags.

NASA’s first-ever Mars rover, named Sojourner, landed on its Pathfinder lander at Chryse Planitia on July 4, 1997. The pair of spacecraft ushered in a revolution in Mars exploration technology that NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance rovers are continuing to this day, a quarter century later.