Science & Technology

Epic Mars Selfie: NASA’s Perseverance Rover With the Ingenuity Helicopter

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter, seen right here about 13 ft (3.9 meters) from the rover. This picture was taken by the WASTON digital camera on the rover’s robotic arm on April 6, 2021, the forty sixth Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s latest Mars rover used a digital camera on the finish of its robotic arm to snap this shot of itself with the Ingenuity helicopter close by.

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter, seen right here about 13 ft (4 meters) away on this picture from April 6, 2021, the forty sixth Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Perseverance captured the picture utilizing a digital camera known as WATSON (Huge Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering), a part of the (Scanning Liveable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemical substances) instrument, situated at the finish of the rover’s robotic arm.

Perseverance’s selfie with Ingenuity was stitched collectively from 62 particular person photos taken whereas the rover was taking a look at the helicopter, then once more whereas it was taking a look at the WATSON digital camera. Movies explaining how NASA’s Perseverance and Curiosity rovers take their selfies will be discovered .

NASA Perseverance Mars rover’s selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars, shut up. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

As soon as the crew is able to try the first flight, Perseverance will obtain and relay to Ingenuity the remaining flight directions from JPL mission controllers. A number of components will decide the exact time for the flight, together with modeling of native wind patterns knowledgeable by measurements taken by the (Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer) instrument aboard Perseverance. Ingenuity will run its rotors to 2,537 rpm and, if all remaining self-checks look good, carry off. After climbing at a charge of about 3 ft per second (1 meter per second), the helicopter will hover at 10 ft (3 meters) above the floor for as much as 30 seconds. Then, Ingenuity will descend and contact again down on the Martian floor.

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover taking a look at the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

A number of hours after the first flight has occurred, Perseverance will downlink Ingenuity’s first set of engineering knowledge and, probably, photos and video from the rover’s Navigation Cameras and Mastcam-Z, a pair of zoomable cameras. From the knowledge downlinked that first night after the flight, the Ingenuity crew expects to have the ability to decide if its first try and fly at Mars was a hit. Flight take a look at outcomes will likely be mentioned by the Ingenuity crew in a media convention that very same day.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory constructed and manages operations of Perseverance and Ingenuity for the company. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA. WATSON was constructed by Malin Area Science Techniques (MSSS) in San Diego, and is operated collectively by MSSS and JPL.

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover taking a look at the WATSON Digicam on Mars. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The Mars helicopter know-how demonstration exercise is supported by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Aeronautics Analysis Mission Directorate, and Area Know-how Mission Directorate.

A key goal for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, together with the seek for indicators of historic microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and previous local weather, pave the means for human exploration of the Crimson Planet, and be the first mission to gather and cache Martian rock and regolith (damaged rock and dirt).

Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Area Company), would ship spacecraft to Mars to gather these sealed samples from the floor and return them to Earth for in-depth evaluation.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is a part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration method, which incorporates Artemis missions to the Moon that may assist put together for human exploration of the Crimson Planet.

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