September 24, 2021

NASA’s clever helicopter sees a potential Mars “path”

The perseverance scientists were impressed by the aerial images of the rover’s exploration location.
Ask any space explorer and you’ll get a favorite photo or two from the mission. For Ken Farley, a scientist with NASA’s Perseverance Rover project, his current favorite is the color image of “South Seville,” and the mission science team believes the area may be worth a rover visit. The agency’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter took this photo during its twelfth and most recent flight on Aug. 16.

Before Ingenuity’s last flight, the Perseverance Science team learned most of the southern part of the Utah landform from images from the orbiter. Based on this data, they believe that the site may be a treasure trove of complex geology, and the information provided may play an important role in the process of the team of explorers looking for signs of ancient microbial life and trying to describe the geological features. and understanding of the area. The history of the area.

Uses images of the autogyro to look for signs of layered sedimentary rocks that may be deposited in the water, interesting rock outcrops accessible by the rover, and safe routes for the rover to enter and exit the area.
“From a scientific point of view, these Nansetta images are by far the most valuable device,” said Farley, who works at the California Institute of Technology. “Part of their value may lie in what they didn’t show. The sedimentary layer in the rock is not obvious in the image, and there may be areas that are difficult to negotiate with the rover. Our scientific and mobile vehicle driving teams still have a lot of work to do to better understand how to respond to new data. The
Ingenuity obtained 10 images of the area as it entered and exited South Utah at an altitude of 33 feet (10 meters). This flight was one of the most complex flights performed by the helicopter team to date, the most so far. . Long flight time (169.5 seconds), with multiple waypoints, because it flew from the relatively inconspicuous terrain outside of Nanseta to the more diverse terrain inland, then back.
“This picture can tell. The thing is, we don’t need to drive further west to get the best geological species in the first scientific activity,” Farley said. “If we decide to go south of Utah, we will get information on what we will find. Intelligence If we decide to stay at “Atubi Ridge”, the current location of the rover, we will save precious time. This is a win-win situation.

More about Ingenuity
The Ingenuity Mars helicopter is manufactured by JPL. The helicopter also manages demonstration operations during its mission to expand to NASA headquarters. It is supported by the Science, Aeronautical Research and Space Technology Mission Council Research Center NASA The Bureau’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley and NASAs Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia provided important flight performance analysis and technical assistance. In terms of vehicles, Lockheed Martin Aerospace designed and manufactured Mars helicopter transport system.
More information on Perseverance

One of the main goals of Perseverance’s Mars mission is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for humans to explore the red planet, and become the first mission to collect and store Martian rocks and weathered layers.
A subsequent NASA mission, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), will send a spacecraft to Mars, collect these sealed samples from the surface, and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis. The
Perseverance Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA’s Moon-to-Mars exploration method, including the Artemis Moon mission, which will help prepare humans for exploring the red planet.
JPL is managed by NASA at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, and is responsible for the construction and management of the Perseverance rover.

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