It looks like a movie still from a movie, but it’s a reality. NASA’s Mars Ingenuity helicopter has snapped a photo of some of the landing gear for the Perseverance spacecraft that brought it to the planet.
After a year of exploring the crater rocks in which it landed, the persistent rover passed close to the landing site. Meanwhile, the rover’s tiny robotic companion, the Creativity Helicopter, continues to follow the tenacity and take pictures of the mission.
During its 26th flight last week, the helicopter took 10 pictures as it hovered in the air for about three minutes at an altitude of about 360 meters above the surface. One of the photos shows the rear shield of the landing gear for the Perseverance. This part, according to NASA, was the upper half of the landing pod that protected Perseverance and Ingenuity as they soared through the Martian atmosphere. Interestingly, even the parachute that slowed the spacecraft’s descent was still attached to the debris.
The parachute and shield came out of the rover a little more than two kilometers from the surface of the Red Planet. A missile system allowed the Perseverance to land safely, while the shield and parachute descended to the northwest.
Debris analysis may be useful for NASA’s upcoming mission to Mars. Hence the plan is to return rock and earth samples from Mars for a more detailed study. This mission, dubbed Mars Sample Return, will land two spacecraft on the surface of Mars. One would collect the samples that had been dug up by perseverance, and the other, the Little Rocket, would launch monsters into orbit. There they are picked up by another spacecraft and brought to Earth.
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