Space & Astronomy
April 30, 2022 | 5 comments
NASA’s plucky helicopter has captured close-up images of the wreckage from Perseverance’s arrival on Mars.
Viewed out of context, this image of an almost saucer-shaped piece of wreckage on the surface of the Red Planet could be mistaken for evidence of extraterrestrial visitors, however far from being a smoking gun in this regard, it is in fact the best view yet of the landing system used by NASA’s latest exploratory rover to descend in one piece onto the surface of Mars.
Having sat on the red dust and rock since February 2021, this object is the backshell which protected the rover (and its helicopter passenger) during its intense descent from Martian orbit.
It was photographed by NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter – a machine that has surprised everyone with its longevity and hardiness given that engineers had not expected it to keep working for so long.
This was in fact its 26th flight overall – not bad at all considering it was originally designed for just five.
“NASA extended Ingenuity flight operations to perform pioneering flights such as this,” said Ingenuity team leader Teddy Tzanetos.
“Every time we’re airborne, Ingenuity covers new ground and offers a perspective no previous planetary mission could achieve.”