An ingenious helicopter takes pictures of the wreckage on Mars

During a year-long flight on April 19, a small helicopter captures footage of a striped parachute used in a Perseverance landing – often referred to as the “7-minute horror” because it happens faster than radio signals reach the ground. Earth from Mars – February 18, 2021. A cone-shaped support is also on display that helped protect the ATV and creativity on its journey from Earth to Mars and during its fiery descent to the surface of Mars.

Engineers working on the Mars Sample Return program, an ambitious multi-mission process to bring Mars samples collected by Perseverance to Earth by 2030, asked if intelligence could collect these images during its 26th flight.

Exploring the components that will allow a safe landing could help them prepare for future Red Planet missions that will require landing and even launching from the surface of Mars for the first time.

“NASA has expanded its innovation flight operations to include such innovative flights,” said Teddy Zanitos, head of the Invention Team at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in NASA’s Pasadena, California, said in a statement.

“Every time we flew, Ingenuity covers a new field and offers a perspective that the previous planetary mission could not achieve. The Mars Sample Return reconnaissance command is a perfect example of the usefulness of airplanes on Mars.

During entry, landing, and landing, the spacecraft experiences extreme temperatures and gravitational forces as it plunges into the atmosphere of Mars at 12,500 miles per hour (20,000 kilometers per hour).

In the past, we only saw pictures of decommissioned landing gear from Rover’s perspective, like the one taken by Perseverance, where the parachute and tailgate were visible from afar. Aerial images taken first by Ingenuity from an altitude of 8 meters provide more detail.

“Perseverance was the best-documented Mars landing in history, with cameras showing everything from parachute infill to landing,” said Ian Clark, a former engineer at Perseverance Systems and current director of the return phase of the Mars sampler. Mars in JPL, in a statement. .

“But the genius images offer a different perspective. If they confirmed that our systems were working the way we thought, or provided one set of technical data to help us plan a sample return from Mars, it would be amazing. If not, the images would still be stunning and inspiring.”

The tail light and its debris field are visible from the Ingenuity site above the landing site.

The back cover can be seen among the rubbish field it created after hitting the surface of Mars while moving 126 miles per hour. But the tailgate shield appears intact, as do the eighty suspension lines that connect it to the canopy.

A curiosity probe collides

The orange and white umbrella is covered in dust, but the umbrella is intact. It was the largest parachute used on Mars to date, 21.5 meters wide. The team will continue to analyze the images to see if the canopy has changed in the coming weeks.

During Ingenuity’s 26th flight, the helicopter flew a total of 1,181 feet (360 meters). So far, it has recorded 49 minutes of total flight time and traveled 3.9 miles (6.3 kilometers) last year.

“To get the shots we needed, Ingenuity did a lot of maneuvering, but we were sure there were awkward movements on flights 10, 12, and 13,” said Havard Grip, JPL’s chief pilot of Ingenuity, in a statement. “We ranked our landing site well to describe the Perseverance Science team’s area of ​​interest on Flight 27 near Sittah Range.”

Perseverance This photo of the ATV's roof in the distance was taken on April 6th.

A helicopter and ATV arrived on an ancient estuary where water flowed into the crater of Jezero millions of years ago.

The majestic delta rises more than 40 meters above the crater floor and is full of boulders, sand pockets and jagged cliffs – and could be the best place to look for signs of ancient life if it had ever been on Mars. .

Creativity has a critical role to play in exploring the two dry river lanes to see which one he has to persevere with to climb to the top of the estuary. It can also share images of features that could become potential scientific targets for Rover.

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