There may not be signs of life on Mars yet, but Twitter users had fun imagining it.
After seven months en route, NASA’s Perseverance successfully landed on the red planet on Thursday. Perseverance is the fifth American rover on Mars, joining its predecessor Curiosity, which landed in 2012.
Soon after landing, Perseverance sent home photographs of its surroundings. The grainy black and white images may not look like much, but the dust is still settling from the landing and the rover needs more time to prepare its other two cameras to get clearer shots.
Meanwhile on Earth, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was rightfully flamed for vacationing in Cancun, Mexico while his constituents faced extreme winter weather and unprecedented power outages. Photos of Cruz waiting to board his plane back to Texas went viral as people expressed their anger that the senator appeared to abandon the people he’s supposed to represent. One photo of Cruz strolling through the Cancun airport with his carry-on luggage became prime Photoshop material, and irate internet users began editing the senator into various backgrounds.
The two landings coincided beautifully.
NASA lands a rover on Mars.
Ted Cruz lands back in Texas (after blaming his kids when caught vacationing in Cancun while his state is in a huge crisis).
America is home to some of the world’s smartest scientists who advance humanity and the dumbest politicians who threaten it.
— Alexandra Chalupa (@AlexandraChalup) February 18, 2021
And between the viral photo of Cruz and the new images of Mars, Twitter users began combining the two events into a meme fit for the chaos that is 2021.
Cruz wasn’t the only senator to make an appearance on Mars — a chilly Bernie Sanders was also spotted on the red planet.
You can check out Perseverance’s landing site with this handy interactive map, as well as view new images the rover sends back to Earth.
You may even spot another bumbling public figure in those dusty photos…at least on Twitter.