NASA’s Mars rover takes selfie with helicopter before first-ever flight on alien planet


NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars snapped a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter ahead of its first flight attempt.

If successful, it’ll be the first flight on an alien planet.

It has been almost two months since NASA’s rover successfully landed on the Red Planet.

What better way to introduce the 1.8 kilogram mini chopper than for Perseverance to take a selfie of the two vehicles.

The photoshoot is in preparation for Ingenuity’s maiden voyage on the Red Planet scheduled for April 11.

According to Sky News, the photo was stitched together from 62 individual images taken while the rover was looking at the helicopter.



The Perseverance rover has taken a selfie with Ingenuity on the Martian surface
The Perseverance rover has taken a selfie with Ingenuity on the Martian surface

More images were then taken while it was looking at the WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) camera.

April 5 was Ingenuity’s first day detached from the rover after it was transferred from Perseverance onto the Red Planet’s surface – a move that NASA hailed as a “major milestone”.

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The exact time of the maiden flight will be decided by mission control, which will look at factors such as wind speed on Mars.



The Perseverance rover landed on Mars in February 2021
The Perseverance rover landed on Mars in February 2021



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The launch will also attempt to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the flight of the first human in space, Yuri Gagarin, on April 12, 1961.

All being well, the helicopter will hover at 10 feet above the surface for up to 30 seconds before descending and touching back down on the Martian surface.

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It will then take several hours for any data collected, and possibly images and video, to be verified back down on Earth.



Tyre marks left by the rover as it moves around the Red Planet
Tyre marks left by the rover as it moves around the Red Planet

In a Tweet from the Perseverance rover Twitter account, it said: “Two bots, one selfie. Greetings from Jezero Crater, where I’ve taken my first selfie of the mission.

“I’m also watching the #MarsHelicopter Ingenuity as it gets ready for its first flight in a few days. Daring mighty things indeed.”

While Ingenuity only operates as a camera NASA hopes that the little chopper will be the first of many helicopters to help further space exploration.





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