It goes without saying that NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter has thrilled the world in recent weeks, and it’s not over yet. NASA has released the first color aerial photos of the surface of Mars taken by Ingenuity in its second successful test flight earlier this week. They are quite a sight, although I have to admit the first thing I think of when I see them is, “Oh look, the Perseverance rover has passed this way.
In recent days, NASA has released three aerial photos taken by Ingenuity. These are not the first photos taken by the rover. He has already returned images of his shadows taken with its navigation camera facing down. And let’s not forget its vigilant and proud surrogate parent, the Perseverance rover, which takes beautiful photos of the helicopter in action. However, this latest set of images is special because they are the first color photos of Mars taken by an aerial vehicle while in the air.
First color aerial image of Mars by Ingenuity
This is the first color image taken by Ingenuity, which is equipped with a high-resolution color camera containing a 4208 x 3120 pixel sensor, during its test flight on April 22.. According to NASA, Ingenuity was 17 feet (5.2 meters) above the surface. It was also shifting its field of view upward as it prepared to move sideways for its 51.9 second flight.
“The image, as well as the inset showing a close-up of part of the tracks [of] the Mars Perseverance rover and the characteristics of the Mars surface demonstrate the usefulness of reconnaissance of Martian terrain from an aerial point of view, ”explained NASA in the description of the photo.
Speaking of perseverance, you can check out the traces of the six-wheeled rover in the windings parallel discolorations on the surface. Apparently, the perseverance itself is not too far, but rather high in the center and unfortunately out of the frame.
“Wright Brothers Field” is what NASA called Official Ingenuity Launch Zone, is near the shadow of the helicopter in the bottom center, the space agency said, and its take-off point is just below the image. Meanwhile, the black objects on the sides of the photo are Ingenuity’s landing pads. And in case this photo couldn’t be better, you can see a small part of it. from the horizon on the upper left and right corners.
Second color aerial image of Mars from Ingenuity
In addition to declaring that this photo was also taken at an altitude of 17 feet (5.2 meters), NASA had little to say. Nevertheless, the space agency noted that you can also see pieces created by Perseverance here.
Third color aerial image of Mars from Ingenuity
NASA was also out of words for this photo, but helpfully reminded us that traces of Perseverance can be seen in this case if you look. (I was). I see the traces at the bottom of the photo, but the rest of the image is much more captivating for me. Oh the mystery from the Martian surface!
In one News update released on Sunday after Ingenuity’s third successful test flight, NASA said the helicopter team asked Ingenuity to take more photos, including from its color camera. The space agency said taking additional photos would provide information that could be used by future air missions. Ingenuity is expected to complete its fourth test flight in the coming days.