NASA’s Mars Helicopter Ingenuity finally touches the surface of Mars after it got dropped by the Perseverance rover, its mother ship.
On Tuesday, the robot companion, after landing on the surface of the red planet, took a selfie with the helicopter and sent it to Earth.
Rover used the designed robotic arm that has a mounted camera at the end to catch the picture.
The picture showed the helicopter 4 meters away from the rover on the left side.
The camera that the rover used is a WATSON, which is a Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering.
Watson is a part of the instrument of SHERLOC, which is Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals.
The selfie that the rover took came back with 62 individual imaged that got stitched together by this mission’s team on Earth.
One of the pictures showed the rover looking at Ingenuity.
The helicopter Ingenuity got stored in the belly of the mother ship Perseverance before launching it.
Once it separated Perseverance on 3rd April, it had to pass an important milestone, which was surviving the night on the red planet without the supply of the mother ship to keep it warm.
On April 5, the rover took a detailed picture where ingenuity sitting on the Mars surface using its zoomable cameras.
The 4-pound helicopter, Ingenuity has cameras of its own that can take pictures. It has already sent a small color image of the Mars surface.
The month of April has gotten considered as the Ingenuity month.
On April 11, the schedule for the first helicopter test flight, which will get recorded as the first powered and controlled flight on another planet.
If everything goes according to plan, then NASA will share the results it gets on April 12.
The team in charge of the helicopter has been training and putting it through different tests to ensure it’s ready for the flight.
The researchers will use the MEDA (Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer) instrument on the rover will check the weather and the wind patterns of Mars. The researchers will look at the dust levels, wind speed, pressure humidity, radiation, and temperature of the ground.
In the first days of Ingenuity on the surface of Mars, it got recorded by the MEDA that the temperature of the daytime was a negative 7.6 Fahrenheit and a low negative of 117.4 degrees Fahrenheit with 22 miles per hour wind.
In a statement, the deputy Principle Investigator of MEDA, Manuel de la Torre Juárez said:
“We’re very excited to see MEDA working well.MEDA’s reports will provide a better picture of the environment near the surface. Data from MEDA and other instrument experiments will reveal more pieces of the puzzles on Mars and help prepare for human exploration. We hope that its data will help make our designs stronger and our missions safer.”
In the first flight, Ingenuity will open up its 4-foot blades and lift in the air, making a turn and landing back down after 30 seconds.
A few hours after the flight, Perseverance will send the helicopter data and any videos and images.
This data and image will help determine whether the flight was successful.
After that Ingenuity will go five flights in the 31 Earth days.
The perseverance rover will explore Jexero Crater, where a lake used to be 3.9 billion years ago, searching for any microbial life for the next two years.