NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter apparently had an unusual foreign object stuck to a leg for a portion of its 33rd flight. This foreign object was not visible in the Navcam footage from the 32nd flight, so its source has yet to be determined, but it does appear to either be some type of fabric or plastic-like material.
There's something on your foot, #MarsHelicopter! 👀
We’re looking into a bit of debris that ended up on Ingenuity's foot during its latest aerial commute. As shown in the GIF, it eventually came off and did not impact a successful Flight 33. https://t.co/S78Chpo2uO pic.twitter.com/oFnRUBy4aq
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) October 1, 2022
In an earlier statement, NASA did claim that the Ingenuity Mars helicopter was carrying a small swatch of fabric underneath its solar panel that originally covered one of the wings of the Wright brother’s aircraft, called the Flyer. Whatever it turns out to be may not be as exciting as some would like to think, and could possibly just be a piece of thin metal that came loose from its suspension system.
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All telemetry from the flight and a post-flight search and transfer are nominal and show no indication of vehicle damage. The Ingenuity and Perseverance Mars 2020 teams are working to discern the source of the debris,” said the NASA/JPL team.