Mars . NASA’s Mars Helicopter Reveals Intriguing Terrain for Rover Team – Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Posted: July 14, 2021 at 1:52 pm

Without Ingenuity, visible in silhouette at the bottom of this next image, Perseverances scientists would never get to see this section of Stah so clearly: Its too sandy for Perseverance to visit. The unique view offers enough detail to inspect these rocks and get a better understanding of this area of Jezero Crater.

As the rover works its way around the dune field, it may make what the team calls a toe dip into some scientifically compelling spots with interesting bedrock. While Toupet and his team wouldnt attempt a toe dip here, the recent images from Ingenuity will allow them to plan potential toe-dip paths in other regions along the route of Perseverances first science campaign.

The helicopter is an extremely valuable asset for rover planning because it provides high-resolution imagery of the terrain we want to drive through, said Toupet. We can better assess the size of the dunes and where bedrock is poking out. Thats great information for us; it helps identify which areas may be traversable by the rover and whether certain high-value science targets are reachable.

More About the Mission

A key objective for Perseverances mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planets geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).

Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASAs Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was built by JPL, which also manages the technology demonstration project for NASA Headquarters. It is supported by NASAs Science, Aeronautics Research, and Space Technology mission directorates. NASAs Ames Research Center in Californias Silicon Valley, and NASAs Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, provided significant flight performance analysis and technical assistance during Ingenuitys development. AeroVironment Inc., Qualcomm, and SolAero also provided design assistance and major vehicle components. Lockheed Martin Space designed and manufactured the Mars Helicopter Delivery System.

JPL manages the MRO mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The University of Arizona, in Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., in Boulder, Colorado.

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Mars . NASA's Mars Helicopter Reveals Intriguing Terrain for Rover Team - Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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