Ingenuity is set to make its first flight this weekend, but NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the tiny helicopter before the big event. You can see it here about 13 feet from the rover in this image taken April 6, 2021, the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission by the WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) camera on the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) instrument, located at the end of the rover’s long robotic arm. Read more for a video of the helicopter’s blades spinning and additional information.
The selfie you see above selfie is comprised of 62 individual images stitched together once they are sent back to Earth. These images were captured in sequence while the rover was looking at the helicopter, then again while it was looking at the WATSON camera. NASA’s Curiosity rover also takes similar selfies using a camera on its robotic arm.
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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory built and manages operations of Perseverance and Ingenuity for the agency. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA. WATSON was built by Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, and is operated jointly by MSSS and JPL,” said the agency.