Mars helicopter spots wreckage from Perseverance landing

New photos of the Ingenuity helicopter offer a new perspective on the wreckage left behind when the Perseverance rover landed on Mars last year, NASA said on Wednesday.

Launched in 2020, the Perseverance rover successfully landed on the Red Planet in 2021, with the mission to find ancient signs of life on Mars. The robber was carrying the Onboard Ingenuity helicopter – an experimental project that scientists on Earth hoped could see sights the rover couldn’t.

Perseverance went through a grueling process known as the Seven Minutes of Terror to descend on the surface of Mars. As it entered the atmosphere, a heat shield helped protect the rover from the blistering heat of reentry, slowing it down dramatically. Then the huge parachute unfolded from the backshell (a cone-shaped part of the descent vehicle), slowing it down even more. At that point, the backshell and parachute separated from Perseverance and let the descent phase take over, using rocket thrusters and an “overhead crane” to gently lower the rover to a smooth landing.

on April 19, Ingenuity took photos showing the remains of Perseverance’s parachute and the rover’s protective backshell, a cone-shaped part of the descent vehicle that the parachute and helped protect the rover on its way to the surface. Spread across the site were debris from where the two crashed into the surface after separating from the rover. The backshell hit the ground at about 78 miles per hour, according to NASA. The photos show that the parachute, the lines connecting the parachute to the spacecraft, and the coating on the outside of the backshell all survived the journey to the surface, NASA says, although more analysis of the photos will be forthcoming in the near future. take place. weeks.

Ingenuity has captured images showing debris from the Mars landing site with Perseverance’s parachute and backshell.
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The photos were taken during Ingenuity’s flight on April 19.
Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Perseverance had the best-documented Mars landing in history, with cameras showing everything from parachute to inflation to landing,” Ian Clark, former Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer, said in a NASA blog post† “Ingenuity’s photos offer a different point of view. If they either reinforce that our systems worked the way we think they worked, or even provide just one dataset of technical information that we can use for Mars Sample Return planning, it’ll be great. And if not, the photos are still phenomenal and inspiring.”

Deployed a month after Perseverance, the Ingenuity helicopter was the first object to reach powered flight in another world. After it became clear that this could be achieved, Ingenuity’s mission expanded and is now partnering with Perseverance for scientific observations.

The Perseverance team is now who want to use ingenuity to help them decide which path Perseverance should last to reach the top of a dry river delta in Mars’ Jezero crater, which scientists believe is the best chance to look for signs of ancient life on the planet.

SOURCE – www.theverge.com

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