NASAis the latest Mars The rover used a camera at the end of its robotic arm to capture this shot with the Ingenuity helicopter nearby.
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter seen here about 13 feet (4 meters) in this April 6, 2021 image, the 46th Martian day or salt, from the mission. Permanence captures the image using a camera called WATSON (wide-angle topographic sensor for operations and engineering), part of the SHERLOC tool (Raman and Luminescence Habitat Scanning for Organic and Chemicals), located at the end of the rover’s robotic arm.
Perseverance’s selfie was ingeniously combined with 62 separate images taken while the rover was looking at the helicopter, and then again while looking at the WATSON camera. Videos explaining how NASA rovers take selfies for perseverance and curiosity can be found here.
Once the team is ready to try the first flight, Permanence will receive and submit to Ingenuity the final flight instructions from JPL mission controllers. Several factors will determine the exact flight time, including modeling of local wind patterns, informed by measurements made by the MEDA (Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer) instrument on board the Persistence. Ingenuity will trigger your rotors to 2537 rpm, and if all the final self-checks look good, get up. After climbing at a speed of about 3 feet per second (1 meter per second), the helicopter will hover 10 feet (3 meters) above the surface for up to 30 seconds. Then ingenuity will descend and touch the surface of Mars again.
A few hours after the first flight, Perseverance will reduce Ingenuity’s first set of engineering data and possibly images and video from the rover’s navigation cameras and the Mastcam-Z, a pair of scalable cameras. From the data down this first night after the flight, the ingenuity team expects to be able to determine if his first attempt to fly to Mars was successful. The results of the flight tests will be discussed by the Ingenuity team at a press conference the same day.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has built and managed operations of perseverance and ingenuity for the agency. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the JPL for NASA. WATSON was built by Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) in San Diego and is co-operated by MSSS and JPL.
The demonstration of helicopter technology on Mars is supported by the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate and the Space Technology Directorate.
The main goal of the Persistence of Mars mission is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the geology of the planet and the past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet and will be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rocks and regolith (broken rocks and dust).
Subsequent NASA missions, in collaboration with ESA (European Space Agency), will send spacecraft to Mars to take these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.
The Sustainability of Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA’s Moon-to-Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis’ missions to the moon to help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.