(ORDO NEWS) — NASA’s newest Mars rover and its trusty helicopter companion have been spotted from space in a new photo.
In 2021, NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity, the first ever Martian helicopter, landed in Jezero Crater on the surface of the Red Planet. A high-resolution camera on NASA’s Mars-orbiting spacecraft captured the pair from orbit.
A new image taken March 31 by the HiRISE (High Resolution Imagine Experiment) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the rover and helicopter together on the planet’s surface. These images were taken 16 years after the camera took the first pictures of Mars.
The spacecraft is hard to make out in the black and white image, but the space agency’s annotated version shows the pair from above.
The picture shows that “Percy” (the so-called “Perseverance”, Perseverance, Perseverance) sits on the cracked surface of a large rock formation called “Maaz”, which is translated from the Navajo language as “Mars”.
Approximately 200 meters to the left of the rover, Ingenuity sits on the rock. A number of Martian objects have been given names in the Navajo language as part of a collaboration with the Office of the President and Vice President of the Navajo Nation.
Perseverance was sent to Mars with two primary goals: to collect samples for a future return to Earth, and to investigate possible evidence of ancient life on the Red Planet. The Ingenuity helicopter was sent to Mars as part of a rover.
Initially, the helicopter was supposed to make only a few flights as part of a technology demonstration, but as a result of successful work, the device made 22 flights and helped Perseverance to reconnoitre research routes.
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