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Space & Astronomy

Ingenuity photographs Mars Perseverance rover

By T.K. Randall
April 28, 2021 · Comment icon 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 | Comments (6)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Nosy.Matters 3 years ago
Excellence, "' efforts will be made to push it as hard as possible. "
Comment icon #2 Posted by ChrLzs 3 years ago
For me, when driving a drone, that means: 1. Lose control over an ocean or river.  Doesn't really apply here. 2. Lose control and hit a tree or man-made structure.  Doesn't really apply here, although crashing into 'Persy' would be spectacular... 3. Lose control and hit a hill or mountain.  Tick. 4. Lose control because the drone goes out of range of the transmitter.  I don't think that applies here as the drone has autonomous abilities..  
Comment icon #3 Posted by ChrLzs 3 years ago
BTW, a couple of helpful tips for Ingenuity for future snaps...   1. Keep your horizon level (don't take notice of some of those Apollo snaps..). 2. Use the two thirds rule to position the subject.  Centering is also OK for sciency-type shots, however. 3. Focus, and keep steady as you press the shutter button. 4. Get closer and thus crop out uninteresting details. Could a NASA person please text this to Ingenuity?  Thanks.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Jon the frog 3 years ago
The response time of the drone within a really thin atmosphere is surprising !
Comment icon #5 Posted by Nosy.Matters 3 years ago
i just like them mentioning that push it bit as in some fields they take it to the top tolerances, say "' oh that's nice --- now take it up more,   and hold it there. " HA!
Comment icon #6 Posted by Myles 3 years ago
It's amazing that it got that close to the rover.   Mars is a pretty big planet.   It's quite a feat in itself to touchdown within drone distance of the rover.  

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