Two bots, one selfie: Nasa on 1st photo of Mars Perseverance rover with Ingenuity
The two bots of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(Nasa) on the mission to Mars took their first selfie on the red planet on Tuesday. Nasa’s Perseverance Mars rover took the selfie with its new companion, the Ingenuity helicopter on the Martian day or sol of the mission.
“Two bots, one selfie. Greetings from Jezero Crater, where I’ve taken my first selfie of the mission. I’m also watching the #MarsHelicopter Ingenuity as it gets ready for its first flight in a few days. Daring mighty things indeed,” the US space agency tweeted, with the image captured by the rover using a WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and Engineering)camera.
WATSON is a part of the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) instrument, located at the end of the Perseverance’s robotic arm.
The selfie was stitched together from 62 individual images taken by the rover, said Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory(JPL).
The Ingenuity helicopter, which was stored in the rover’s belly, detached last week and survived its first night alone on the frigid red planet. Nasa hailed it as a major milestone as the helicopter is expected to attempt its first flight no earlier than April 11.
“Once the team is ready to attempt the first flight, Perseverance will receive and relay to Ingenuity the final flight instructions from JPL mission controllers. Several factors will determine the precise time for the flight,” Nasa said.
The helicopter, which carries a small piece of cloth from the first aircraft that achieved the powered flight on Earth, will be the first aircraft to attempt powered flight on another planet.
The Mars Perseverance mission is part of the US agency’s moon to mars exploration approach, with its key objective to search for ancient microbial life on the planet. It will characterize the geology and the past climate of the planet to pave the way for human exploration.