Mars Perseverance rover snaps selfie photo with Ingenuity helicopter
April 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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NASA's Perseverance rover used a camera on the end of its robotic arm to take a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter now that it has detached from the rover and is independently sitting in its air field ahead of the first flight on Mars.
(CNN)Just days after NASA's Perseverance rover gently dropped the Ingenuity helicopter on the surface of Mars, the robot companions took a selfie together on Tuesday and beamed it back to Earth.
The rover used its robotic arm, which has a camera mounted on the end, to capture the image.
There is also an image where the rover can be seen looking back at Ingenuity.
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.
The helicopter team has been putting Ingenuity through tests to make sure it's ready for flight.
The researchers will be checking the weather and local wind patterns, using the rover's MEDA instrument, or Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer.
For Ingenuity's first days by itself on the Martian surface, MEDA recorded a high daytime temperature of negative 7. 6 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of negative 117. 4 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind gusts up to 22 miles per hour.
During the first flight, Ingenuity will fire up its 4-foot blades, lift 10 feet in the air, make a turn and come back down for a landing after 30 seconds.
Hours after the flight, Perseverance will send back data from the helicopter, as well as any images or video the rover captured from a safe distance at a spot overlooking the flat air field where Ingenuity currently sits.
The data and images will help mission teams at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, determine if the first flight was successful.
Ingenuity will conduct up to five flights across a period of 31 Earth days, or 30 sols on Mars.