NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter spotted both the parachute and backshell that helped the Perseverance rover land on Mars. What is the cone-shaped object you ask? It’s the backshell that protected the rover in deep space as well as during its fiery descent toward the Martian surface on Feb. 18, 2021. All 10 of these aerial color images were captured on April 19 during Ingenuity’s Flight 26.
Entry, descent, and landing on Mars isn’t as simple as spacecraft returning to Earth. Landing on the Red Planet is fast-paced and stressful due to the gravitational forces, high temperatures, as we;; as other extremes that come with entering its atmosphere at nearly 12,500 mph (20,000 kph). These images are significant because they could be used to ensure safer landings for future spacecraft. Whatever the case may be, Perseverance drilling into rock is also no easy feat.
- Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ 114mm f/8.8 Newtonian Reflector Telescope with German Equatorial Mount - Tripod and Mount - 20mm Eyepiece with Built-In...
- Manual German equatorial mount with setting circles to accurately locate and track sky objects
- Adjustable, full height steel tripod with deluxe accessory tray
NASA extended Ingenuity flight operations to perform pioneering flights such as this. Every time we’re airborne, Ingenuity covers new ground and offers a perspective no previous planetary mission could achieve. Mars Sample Return’s reconnaissance request is a perfect example of the utility of aerial platforms on Mars,” said Teddy Tzanetos, Ingenuity’s team lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.