The Mars helicopter Ingenuity has captured some images of an object that belonged to the spacecraft responsible for landing the Perseverance rover on Mars. All details here.
NASA has shared a bunch of new images that could give believers of aliens, or Martians some excitement. In the images shared by the Ingenuity helicopter that stays along with the Perseverance rover on Mars, a unique object can be seen lying on the ground, smashed to bits. Not far away from this UFO shaped thing lies a parachute spread across the Martin surface. Now before you panic and start spreading the word that aliens are a real thing, and that we are not alone in this universe, you should wait and read on.
That disc-shaped object with its shattered edges you see in the picture actually belongs to the spacecraft that was responsible for safely bringing Perseverance to Mars. Almost a year ago, the spacecraft came to the Martian orbit and dropped the rover into the Red Planet. The disc shaped object is essentially a shield that was used in the descent vehicle to protect the rover and the copter from the wind blast, or any other Martian weather elements. The documented footage of the landing in February 2021 also showed this plate separating miles above the surface of Mars.
Mars copter finds Alien stuff
“In the images of the upright backshell and the debris field that resulted from it impacting the surface at about 78 mph (126 kph), the backshell’s protective coating appears to have remained intact during Mars atmospheric entry. Many of the 80 high-strength suspension lines connecting the backshell to the parachute are visible and also appear intact. Spread out and covered in dust, only about a third of the orange-and-white parachute – at 70.5 feet (21.5 meters) wide, it was the biggest ever deployed on Mars – can be seen, but the canopy shows no signs of damage from the supersonic airflow during inflation, ”says JPL / NASA.
The images were taken from both the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity copter, but it was the latter’s images that are more detailed and offer a better perspective. The copter was doing its 26th flight when it spotted the debris from its landing craft.
Going forward, the Ingenuity copter will play a big role in choosing the correct path for the Perseverance rover. The rover is now leaving the flat plains of the Jerez crater and now heading for the dried up river beds leading to a delta. This is where the copter will come for help.
“Upon reaching the delta, Ingenuity’s first orders may be to help determine which of the two dry river channels Perseverance should climb to reach the top of the delta. Along with route-planning assistance, data provided by the helicopter will help the Perseverance team assess potential science targets. Ingenuity may even be called upon to image geologic features too far afield for the rover to reach or to scout landing zones and sites on the surface where sample caches could be deposited for the Mars Sample Return program, ”says the JPL report.