Selfie in an extraordinary place: Mars rover “Perseverance” photographed himself on the red planet – and was not alone.
Washington – On Wednesday (local time), NASA published a “selfie” of Mars Rover with mini chopper “Ingenuity”. The rover took the photo, which consists of 62 individual images, with its robotic arm. Composite images show the “Perseverance” rover in the foreground and the smaller “Ingenuity” helicopter. It is about four meters from the vehicle and is about to make its first flight to Mars in the coming days.
Mars: NASA’s Ease on Red Planet
The 1.8-kg light helicopter “Ingenuity” (in German: Simplicity) is intended to rise to a height of about three meters in its first test flight, hover there for thirty seconds and then land again on the surface of Mars. Thus NASA will succeed in the first flight of an aircraft on another planet. “Ingenuity” powered by lithium-ion batteries can still attempt multiple flights for about a month.
Extreme condition: up to -90 ° C on Mars
Helicopters have to avoid extreme conditions: the nighttime cold on Mars is minus 90 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, the gravitational pull of the planet is low and the atmosphere is very thin. The mini chopper “Ingenuity” had been inside the Mars Rover “Fortitude” for 203 flight days and 472 million kilometers. In late February the helicopter finally did a risky maneuver in a dry Mars lake called the “Jezero Crater”. This lake with a diameter of about 45 km is to be examined by Mars rover in the next two years. Rover tried his laser for the first time in March. (jsch / dpa)