Space & Astronomy
Ingenuity photographs Mars Perseverance rover
By T.K. Randall
April 28, 2021 · 6 comments
A close-up showing Perseverance on the Martian surface. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech
NASA's Ingenuity helicopter snapped an image of the rover during its third historic flight at the weekend.
The plucky little vehicle, which achieved its maiden flight on April 19th (the first powered, controlled flight ever to be undertaken on another world) has since made two further forays off the surface with scientists back on Earth set to push it ever further to test its limits in the Red Planet's atmosphere.
Getting a helicopter airborne on Mars is particularly challenging as the atmosphere is extremely thin compared to that of the Earth, making it much more difficult to achieve lift.
To combat this, Ingenuity is very lightweight and can spin its rotors at very high speeds.
During it's latest flight, which saw it travel 100 meters over 80 seconds, the helicopter managed to capture a quick photograph of the Perseverance rover sitting a few meters away.
According to NASA, the next two flights, which will take place over the next few days, will likely be the helicopter's last because efforts will be made to push it as hard as possible.
This means that there is a very real possibility that it will ultimately crash onto the surface.
Even so, what it has achieved so far is nothing if not remarkable and its adventures on Mars will pave the way for other, more powerful and sophisticated off-world helicopters in the years to come.
Source: BBC News
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