NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has beamed back to Earth eerie yet incredible images of the NASA Perseverance rover wreckage that helped bring it to the Red Planet last year.
As reported by CBS News, Ingenuity, which was the first helicopter to fly on another planet, took these 10 aerial color photos of Perseverance’s debris and NASA believes the images have “the potential to help ensure safer landings for future spacecraft.”
NASA Ingenuity Images of the Debris of Perseverance
The photos feature Perseverance’s backshell and supersonic parachute that helped the rover land and safely make it through Mars’ atmosphere. While the landing was a huge success, these parts took some expected damage on the descent.
“Perseverance had the best-documented Mars landing in history, with cameras showing everything from parachute inflation to touchdown,” said JPL’s Ian Clark, former Perseverance systems engineer and now Mars Sample Return ascent phase lead. “But Ingenuity’s images offer a different vantage point. If they either reinforce that our systems worked as we think they worked or provide even one dataset of engineering information we can use for Mars Sample Return planning, it will be amazing. And if not, the pictures are still phenomenal and inspiring.”
The parachute itself contained a secret message that was decoded last year, and it was discovered to feature the secret message “dare mighty things,” the motto used by the Perseverance team.
Perseverance was launched on July 30, 2020, and it successfully landed on Mars on February 18, 2021. It’s mission is to seek signs of habitable conditions for life and search for signs of past microbial life as well.
Blogroll Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org,
Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.