As NASA's Perseverance rover landed on Mars Thursday, researchers at Western Washington University became the eyes of the world.
"It feels surreal," said Melissa Rice, professor of planetary science at Western. "We're asking the big question. Are we alone in the universe?"
Rice is a member of NASA's Perseverance Rover Team. Over the past decade, she and about a dozen of her students developed two cameras now mounted to Perseverance.