Perseverance photographs the “fallen” Martian helicopter

The Perseverance rover has transmitted a new series of images of the Martian surface to Earth. On some of them, you can see the “final resting place” of the Ingenuity helicopter.

The place of the last landing of the Ingenuity helicopter. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

Ingenuity’s last flight took place on January 18, 2024. It was of a testing nature. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory specialists wanted to make sure Ingenuity was ready for new missions after its forced landing in early January.

During the test, Ingenuity rose to a height of 12 meters. But during the landing, NASA lost contact with the helicopter. Subsequently, contact with the drone was restored. Unfortunately, the images transmitted to Earth showed that during landing, Ingenuity damaged at least one of its blades. After studying the images and telemetry, the specialists of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory came to the conclusion that it was impossible to continue operating the drone.

The Perseverance images show the place of the last landing of Ingenuity. As you can see, the helicopter landed next to a small sandy ridge. It is possible that in the future it will “bury” the helicopter. At the moment, it is unknown whether the mission specialists are going to bring Perseverance closer to the helicopter to examine it in more detail.

The place of the last landing of the Ingenuity helicopter. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

Recall that Ingenuity was landed on the Martian surface in April 2021. The vehicle was a technological demonstrator, which main task was to be able to carry out a steady flight in the Martian atmosphere.

Ingenuity has brilliantly coped with this task. Formally, it was designed for five flights and 30 days of operation. In reality, Ingenuity spent almost three years on Mars and made 72 flights, during which it flew about 17 km. The total flight time was 128 minutes, the maximum achieved speed was 10 m/s, and the flight altitude was 24 m.

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