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Mars Perseverance rover takes selfie photo with Ingenuity helicopter

The rover used its robotic arm, which has a camera mounted on the end, to capture the image. The helicopter is visible 4 meters (13 feet) on the left side of the rover.

The camera, known as WATSON, or Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and Engineering, works perfectly as part of the SHERLOC instrument, or analyzes living environments with Raman and luminescence for organics and chemicals.

The selfie includes 62 individual images that were put together by the Earth mission team. There is also an image where the rover can be seen while looking at Ingenuity.
Ingenuity had been stored in the belly of Perseverance before its launch. When it separated from the rover on April 3, the helicopter took a crucial step: surviving the freezing night of Mars without power to the rover to keep it warm.

The rover also used the zoomable cameras on its mast to capture a detailed look at Ingenuity sitting on the surface of Mars on April 5.

Ingenuity is equipped with cameras and can take its own photos. The 4-pound helicopter has already returned a small color image of the Martian surface.

Mars Perseverance rover takes selfie photo with Ingenuity helicopter

April is considered the month of ingenuity. The helicopter’s first test flight, which will be the first powered and controlled flight to another planet, is scheduled for April 11. If all goes according to plan, NASA will share the results of the flight on April 12.

The helicopter team tested Ingenuity to make sure it was ready for flight. Researchers will check local weather conditions and winds using the rover’s MEDA instrument or Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer. The rover’s weather station can record dust levels, wind speed and direction, pressure, relative humidity, air and ground temperature, and radiation.

For the first few days of Ingenuity alone on the Martian surface, MEDA recorded a high daytime temperature of minus 7.6 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 117.4 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind gusts up to 22 miles per hour.

Mars Perseverance rover takes selfie photo with Ingenuity helicopter

“We are very happy to see MEDA working well,” Manuel de la Torre Juárez, Deputy Principal Investigator for MEDA, said in a statement. “MEDA reports will provide a better picture of the near-surface environment. Data from MEDA and other instrument experiments will reveal more puzzles on Mars and help prepare for human exploration. Our missions more safe. “

On the first flight, Ingenuity will throw its 4-foot blades, lift 10 feet in the air, make a turn, and come back down for a landing after 30 seconds.

Within hours of the flight, Perseverance will return the helicopter data, along with any images or videos captured by the rover from a safe distance to a location overlooking the flat terrain where Ingenuity is currently located.

Mars Perseverance rover takes selfie photo with Ingenuity helicopter

The data and images will help mission teams at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Determine if the first flight was successful.

Ingenuity will perform up to five flights over a period of 31 Earth days, or 30 sols on Mars. Then the technological experiment will end. Meanwhile, the Perseverance rover will spend the next two years exploring Jezero Crater, the site of a lake 3.9 billion years ago, in search of ancient microbial life.

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