During its one-year anniversary flight on April 19, the small helicopter captured images of the striped parachute used during the Perseverance landing – often referred to as the “7 Minutes of Terror” because it broadcasts from Mars to Earth. Faster than signals – on February 18, 2021. He also saw a conical backshell that helped protect the rover and engine during its journey from Earth to Mars and its fiery, sinking descent on the surface of Mars.
Engineers working on the Mars Sample Return Program, a passionate and multi-faceted process of returning Mars specimens collected by Persuasion to Earth by the 2030s, asked if Ingenuity had completed its 26th flight. During this time it can collect images.
Studying the components that allow for safe landings can help prepare for future missions to the Red Planet that will require landing and even launching from the surface of Mars for the first time. ۔
Teddy Tzanetos, head of the Ingenuity team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement: “NASA has increased Ingenuity flight operations to perform such critical flights.”
“Every time we’re in an airplane, Ingenuity covers a new Earth and offers a perspective that no previous planetary mission could have achieved. Is an excellent example of the usefulness of farms. “
During entry, descent and landing, the spacecraft is subjected to extreme temperatures and gravitational forces as it sinks into the Martian atmosphere at a speed of about 12,500 miles per hour (20,000 kilometers per hour).
Previously, we’ve only seen images of rejected landing gear from a rover’s perspective, such as a photo taken by Persuasion showing a parachute and backshell remotely. Aerial photographs, taken for the first time by Ingenuity from 26 feet (8 m) in the air, provide more detail.
Ian Clark, a former security system engineer and current Mars Sample Return Ascent Phase Lead JPL, stated in a statement: Was. ”
“But images of ingenuity offer a different benefit. If they reinforce the fact that our systems worked the way we thought they did, or provided a data set of engineering information. What we can use to plan the return of the Martian specimen would be amazing. And if not, the images are still extraordinary and impressive. “
The backshell can be seen in a field of debris that was formed after it hit the surface of Mars while moving at a speed of about 78 miles per hour (126 kilometers per hour). But the protective coating of the backshell remains intact, as 80 suspension lines attach it to the parachute.
The orange and white parachute can be seen, covered with dust, but the umbrella is unharmed. It was the largest parachute ever used on Mars, measuring 70.5 feet (21.5 m) wide. The team will continue to analyze the images to see if the parachute has changed in the next several weeks.
During Ingenuity’s 26th air tour, the helicopter flew at a total altitude of 1,181 feet (360 meters). So far, it has logged 49 minutes of total flight time and traveled 3.9 miles (6.3 kilometers) over the past year.
Håvard Grip, Ingenuity’s chief pilot at JPL, said in a statement: “Ingenuity did a lot to get the shots we needed, but we were confident because flights 10, 12 and 13 had complex arrangements. . ” “Our landing spot arranged us to photograph the area of interest for the forensic science team on Flight 27, near ‘Séítah’ ridge.”
Helicopters and rovers have landed on an ancient river delta where water once flowed in the Jezero Crater millions of years ago.
The imposing delta rises more than 130 feet (40 m) above the floor of the crater and is sifted through rocks, sand pockets and rugged cliffs – and if it ever exists on Mars, look for traces of ancient life. This may be the best place for you. .
Ingenuity has the important task of surveying two dry streams to see which one should be used steadily to reach the top of the delta. It could also share photos of features that could be potential science targets for the rover.