NASA helicopter captures glorious view of Mars, with some surprises

NASA’s extraterrestrial helicopter, Ingenuity, flew 40 feet into the Martian air and took in some amazing otherworldly scenery.

On its 51st flight, the experimental craft, with rotors reaching four feet in length from tip to tip, climbed atop a hill beyond the rim of Belva Crater. Recently released view(opens in a new tab) it’s great It seems, dare he say, earthly. The rocky desert is in the foreground. Eroded and windswept hills line the horizon. The sky is bright.

And scattered about the view are some curious signs of human exploration.


NASA released wild footage of the Mars helicopter flying over an alien desert

A view of the Martian desert captured by the Ingenuity helicopter.

A Martian landscape with surprises.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Here they are:

  • Helicopter legs: On the right and left sides of the Ingenuity image you can see the ends of two of the spacecraft’s legs as it hovers in the air.

  • Helicopter Shadow: Center-right, just to the right of a small gray rock, is the small shadow of Ingenuity on the ground.

  • The Perseverance rover: Perhaps the most notable is NASA’s Perseverance rover, which landed with Ingenuity in February 2021 with the primary goal of searching for potential evidence of past microbial life on Mars—if it ever existed. The six-wheeled, car-sized rover is in the upper left.

  • Rover Tracks: You can also observe the trail of the large robot. From Perseverance, follow two horizontal lines running to the right across the image. The wheels are metal, so they are really noisy as they rumble over the rocky terrain of Mars.

  • Garbage!: As the rover and its landing gear plummeted through the Martian atmosphere before a series of difficult landing maneuvers, debris such as cables and insulators were scattered across the desert. Just below the rover you can see what NASA calls a “small piece of debris.”

rest on mars

Debris on Mars detected by NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

All of Ingenuity’s great aerial views are an unexpected gift. Mission planners hoped to get five flights out of the small helicopter. Now there are more than 50, with many more planned.

The experimental Mars rover is currently flying over more challenging terrain, a region full of “dunes and rocks and boulders, and surrounded by hills that could eat us for lunch,” explained Josh Anderson, Ingenuity’s chief operating officer of NASA.(opens in a new tab) a couple of weeks ago

Stay tuned as ingenuity and perseverance explore deeper into Mars’ Jezero Crater, a land that is now a barren desert, but was once filled with running water.(opens in a new tab) and muddy deltas.

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A glimpse of Mars has been revealed in a remarkable set of images released by NASA recently. However, the photos taken by the helicopter on board the Perseverance Rover offer more than just a view of the Red Planet – they also provide some exciting surprises.

The Mars Copter, known as Ingenuity, captured three images of the terrain known as Jezero Crater as its blades spun 1,500 ft above the surface. The images, which offer scientists a unique insight into the Red Planet, are the first pictures ever taken from the air.

One of the most captivating images shows dark bedrock, an ancient shoreline that more than 3.6 billion years ago marked the edge of a body of water. This makes the Jezero crater an important region of study for experts to understand how the planet has evolved over time.

The images also offered glimpses of an interesting landscape with buttes, mesas, and sand dunes visible in the cloud of dust stirred up as the helicopter descended.

The hardware and software used by the Mars Copter control system was developed by Ikaroa, a full stack tech company specializing in space exploration. Their years of experience in mission planning, spacecraft control, and software engineering have been instrumental in the success of this mission.

Overall, these images have provided scientists and space lovers everywhere with a thrilling new perspective on the Red Planet, and mark a major milestone in human exploration. With many more flights planned in the coming months, the exciting world of Mars promises to deliver more surprises in the near future.


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