The Mars unmanned helicopter has ingenuity capturing Aerial photos of some of the perseverance landing gear used. NASA says this detailed atmospheric perspective can provide valuable insights for future missions.
Brilliant recently surveyed the parachute Perseverance used to land on Mars as well as the conical back shell that protects the rover as it descends from space toward the surface of Mars. Ingenuity was commissioned to capture these images by NASA engineers who wanted to see this particular perspective to provide insight into the landing and inform future landings.
“NASA has expanded its innovation flight operations to perform groundbreaking flights like these,” says Teddy Zanitos, Ingenuity Team Leader at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “Every time we fly by, Ingenuity covers new ground and offers a perspective that a previous planetary mission could not achieve. The reconnaissance order for a Mars sample return is an excellent example of the utility of aerial platforms on Mars.”
“Exudes another world”
The state of the remains, which looks like a wrecked alien spacecraft out of a science fiction movie, is due to the extremely fast and exhausting nature of the Martian landing from space. NASA says that vehicles attempting to land must contend with intense gravitational forces and high temperatures as they descend at nearly 12,500 miles per hour. The images show an upright back crust and debris field resulting from its impact on the surface of Mars at 78 miles per hour.
“There’s definitely a science fiction element to it. It exudes another world, doesn’t it?” Dr. Ian Clarke of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a former Perseverance Systems engineer and now leader of the ascent stage of the return of the Martian sample, says, New York times.
While the wreck Previously photographed by Perseverance On Earth, this perspective provides engineers with more detail and has the potential to help ensure the safe landing of future spacecraft. The protective cover of the rear hood looks intact, as do the many high-strength suspension lines that connect it to the canopy.
“Perseverance was the best-documented Mars landing in history, with cameras showing everything from parachute inflation to landing,” Clark says.
But photos of creativity offer a different view. If they either enhance our systems as we think they do or provide a single data set of engineering information that we can use to plan the return of a Mars sample, that would be amazing. And if not, the photos will still be amazing and inspiring.”
details of the trip
This particular mission was a 159-second flight that began at 11:37 a.m. Mars local time on April 19, the first anniversary of its maiden flight. Creativity flew 26 feet above the ground and traveled 630 feet to the southwest to capture the mission’s first image. Then I headed southwest and northwest and took photos along the pre-planned route. Having taken 10 total photos, it turned back west and landed. It covered a total distance of 1181 feet.
With this mission completed, Ingenuity logged over 49 minutes of flight time and traveled a total distance of 3.9 miles.
Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech