The Mars helicopter Ingenuity captured some images of an object belonging to the spacecraft responsible for the landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars. All details here.
NASA has shared a bunch of new images that may give believers of aliens or Martians some excitement. The images shared by the Ingenuity helicopter that remains on Mars with the Perseverance rover show a unique object lying on the ground, smashed to pieces. Not far from this UFO-shaped thing, a parachute is scattered across Martin’s surface. Before you panic and start spreading the word that aliens really do exist, and that we are not alone in this universe, you should wait and read on.
That disc-shaped object with its shattered edges that you see in the image actually belongs to the spacecraft responsible for safely bringing Perseverance to Mars. Almost a year ago, the spacecraft entered Mars orbit and dropped the rover on the Red Planet. The disc-shaped object is essentially a shield that was used in the descent vehicle to protect the rover and helicopter from the gust of wind or other Martian weather elements. The documented images of the February 2021 landing also showed this plate separating miles above the Martian surface.
Mars helicopter finds alien stuff
“In the images of the upright backshell and the debris field that resulted from impacting the surface at about 78 mph (126 kph), the protective coating of the backshell appears to have remained intact during the penetration into the atmosphere of Mars. Many of the 80 very strong suspension lines connecting the backshell to the parachute are visible and also appear intact. Scattered and covered in dust, only about a third of the orange-white parachute – with a width of 21 .5 meters, the largest ever deployed to Mars – visible, but the canopy shows no signs of damage from the supersonic airflow during inflation,” says JPL/NASA.
The images were taken with both the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter, but it was the latter’s images that are more detailed and offer a better perspective. The helicopter was on its 26th flight when it spotted debris from its landing craft.
In the future, the Ingenuity helicopter will play a big role in choosing the right path for the Perseverance rover. The rover now leaves the flat plains of the crater of Jerez and heads for the dried-up riverbeds that lead to a delta. Here comes the helicopter for help.
“On reaching the delta, Ingenuity’s first assignment may be to help determine which of the two dry river channels Perseverance must climb to reach the top of the delta. In addition to aiding in route planning, the helicopter’s data will help the Perseverance team assess potential scientific targets. In fact, ingenuity can be called upon to image geological features too distant for the rover to reach or to explore landing zones and locations on the surface where monster caches can be deposited for the Mars Sample Return program.” , says the JPL report.