NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter Detects Beautiful Spacecraft Wreckage on Mars

ingenuity is the first helicopter to fly over another planet, revealing the Martian surface from the air, and some of the man-made objects on it, in unprecedented detail. Now, NASA’s Mars drone has captured something new: a space accident.

In the image, the dusty ruins of a parachute and the burned metal of a spacecraft are shown embedded in the reddish Martian soil, with scattered pieces of projectiles and machinery scattered through space around them. However, the ruins are not evidence of a failed landing; instead, they are intimately related to Ingenuity’s existence on Mars.

What’s new – Ingenuity took the pictures on April 19, the one-year anniversary of Ingenuity’s first liftoff into the Martian sky. The series of ten color aerial images shows the remains of the touchdown team that carried Perseverance and Ingenuity to Mars on February 18, 2021.

On this auspicious anniversary, Ingenuity took a trip back to its genesis and visited these iconic relics of NASA’s best-documented Mars landing shortly before Martian noon. For this excursion, the helicopter’s 26th flight, the JPL team tasked Ingenuity with collecting views from various angles of the landing site.

The images will help engineers know what went right during Perseverance’s landing and give them vital information for repeating the trick on future missions.

Let’s take a look at what three of the images show:

3. In one image, Perseverance’s landing gear looks whitish against the Martian ground, but it’s slowly being sucked up by dust. In the background, the rover’s parachute can be seen in a crumpled heap.

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took this photograph of Perseverance’s landing gear 26 feet (8 meters) above the planet’s surface.NASA/JPL-Caltech

two. The panoramic view is otherworldly, reminiscent of old industrial boom towns, such as the shores of the Aral Sea in the Middle East, or an industrial city turned ghost town in the American Midwest.

NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover touched down on the planet on February 18, 2021. Its descent parachute is seen on the far right of this image, and its rear hull is seen left of center. They hit the ground at about 78 miles (126 kilometers) per hour.NASA/JPL-Caltech

one. In this image, the full scale of the debris shows just how big an impact the Mars rover made on the planet’s surface.

The force of the impact seems evident here.NASA/JPL/CalTech

How Ingenuity landed on Mars

Packed safely inside Perseverance’s womb, Ingenuity survived the landing on Mars and a year on the planet’s surface.

But before flying under its own power, the helicopter’s first trip through the Martian sky technically began as a 12,500-mile (20,000-kilometer) per hour downward plunge.

The dramatic descent of NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover to the planet’s surface on February 18, 2021.

The parachute system, now lying strewn and broken across the Martian landscape, was deployed when the mission was about 6 miles (9.5 kilometers) above the planet’s surface and trapped the thin Martian air for less than two minutes. .

A NASA television image of the parachute that assisted the space agency’s Perseverance Mars Rover during its descent to the planet’s surface. NASA Television

By the time the parachute and rear casing separated from the rover, they had slowed that fast speed to about 246 feet (75 meters) per second before the “skycrane” descent stage completed the mission’s landing. . All that hard work is evident in the current broken appearance of the landing gear. They hit the ground at about 78 miles (126 kilometers) per hour.

Whats Next – Perseverance recently traveled along Jezero Crater to a region called Three Forks. Ingenuity will use her studies of the sky to help teams decide which path Perseverance should take uphill through a delta. When Perseverance reaches his target location, he will look at the upstream region of two ancient converging bodies of water. This astrobiology mission will search for rocks that may have traveled from Martian neighborhoods that the rover will not reach, increasing its sampling.

Perseverance will search for rocks that bear signs of microbial life, which may have flourished billions of years ago on Mars thanks to its ancient lakes and rivers.