Ginny and Percy Together! Perseverance Snaps Spectacular 1st Selfie with Ingenuity Helicopter on Mars Ahead of Historic Flight: Mosaic

Ginny and Percy: Perseverance Snaps Spectacular 1st Selfie with Ingenuity Helicopter on Mars Ahead of Historic Flight! Mosaic
Ginny & Percy together on Mars! NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter, seen here about 13 feet (3.9 meters) from the rover. This mosaic was taken by the WATSON camera on the rover’s robotic arm on Sol 46, April 6, 2021. Ingenuity rests between wheel track with view to Jezero Crater horizon. This Sol 46 mosaic is comprised of over 50 WATSON camera raw images and was stitched by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Ken Kremer/Space UpClose

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – Ginny and Percy together on Mars in 1st joint Selfie!

NASA’s Perseverance rover has just snapped her first ever selfie on Mars this week on April 6, or Sol 46 – as well as its also being the first joint selfie with the experimental Ingenuity Mars helicopter on the Red Planet – – and its truly spectacular !!

Ginny and Percy (nicknames for Ingenuity and Perseverance) are seen together in new mosaics here about 13 feet (4 meters) apart in imagery taken on April 6, 2021, the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission – ahead of humanity’s history making first controlled test flight by an aircraft beyond Earth now just days away and targeted for Sunday, April 11.

Enjoy my two versions of the Sol 46 double selfie view from my stitches of several dozen raw images taken by the high resolution WATSON camera located at the end of the rover’s robotic arm, showing wide angle rounded fisheye and flat scenes of NASA’s $80 million rotorcraft and the $2.7 Billion SUV sized  rover.

It’s just so fantastic it’s hard to find the words to describe this historic moment showing the spectacular scene of two robots dispatched from Earth standing upright side by side – the first aircraft on Mars drop deployed just days ago by her mothership and now resting unveiled in between the rover wheel tracks with the solar panel gathering life giving solar energy to power the six lithium ion batteries.

Ginny & Percy together on Mars! NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter, seen here about 13 feet (3.9 meters) from the rover. This mosaic was taken by the WATSON camera on the rover’s robotic arm on Sol 46, April 6, 2021. Ingenuity rests between wheel track with view to Jezero Crater horizon. This Sol 46 mosaic is comprised of about 40 WATSON camera raw images and was stitched by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Ken Kremer/Space UpClose

The Perseverance WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering camera is part of the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) instrument located on the turret, or hand at the end of the 7 ft (2.1 meter) long robotic arm

The NASA and JPL teams have published the official agency mosaic from Sol 46 stitched from 62 raw images.

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter, seen here about 13 feet (3.9 meters) from the rover. This image was taken by the WATSON camera on the rover’s robotic arm on April 6, 2021, the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

This NASA JPL gif shows two versions of the selfie scene with the Perseverance robots mast head looking into the WATSON camera and also looking away down towards Ingenuity standing upright on the floor of Jezero crater on the ‘Martian Flight Field.’

“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,” Perseverance tweeted.

Videos explaining how NASA’s Perseverance and Curiosity rovers take their selfies can be found in these NASA JPL videos here.

The goal is to conduct a history making ‘Wright Brothers’ first flight moment with the agencies experimental craft on Mars no earlier than April 11 – aiming to make the first attempt at powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet.

Data and imagery will be received back on Earth the next day, April 12.

And Ginny has to do all that in the ultra-thin Martian atmosphere less than 1% as dense as Earth’s.

All 4 landing legs down after unfurlment completed for NASA’s Mars Ingenuity helicopter on Sol 39 (March 30, 2021) hanging at attach point on the belly of the Perseverance rover. Copter is dangling about 5 in (19 cm) above Mars surface before it is dropped down. This Sol 39 mosaic from 8 color raw images taken by Sherloc Watson camera on robot arm was stitched by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose. Shows local scene with wheel tracks, rocks and soil out to the horizon and backdropped by Jezero Crater wall some 2 mi (3 km) away from where Perseverance touched down on Feb. 18, 2021 on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL/Ken Kremer/Space UpClose

NASA’s experimental solar powered Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has safely survived its first several frigid Martian nights standing alone and all on its own power overnight on Monday, April 5, Sol 44, after being safely deployed to the ‘Martian Flight Field’ on Sunday, April 4, and carefully dropped from the attach point on the belly of the Perseverance rover where its been hanging this past week after completing the methodical step by step unfolding, swing down and deployment of all four graphite composite landing legs

“This is the first time that Ingenuity has been on its own on the surface of Mars,” said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, in a statement.

“But we now have confirmation that we have the right insulation, the right heaters, and enough energy in its battery to survive the cold night, which is a big win for the team. We’re excited to continue to prepare Ingenuity for its first flight test.”

NASA’s solar powered Ingenuity helicopter as seen standing upright on Mars surface on all 4 four landing legs in between wheel tracks and viewed by the Perseverance rover front rover Navigation Camera (NAVCAM) on Sol 44 showing both rotorcraft blades with Jezero Crater backdrop. This Sol 44 mosaic is comprised of two right front navcam camera color raw images taken on April 5, 2021 and was stitched by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ken Kremer/Space UpClose

For the first time in history an aircraft from Earth rests on the soil of the Red Planet – and it survived the nights to live on!  And that’s truly a magnificent thought to behold!

Now the the team needs to continue testing and checkouts all this week and release of the rotor blades, a key milestone, was achieved on April 7.

Here is NASA’s schedule of events so you can follow along:

“The #MarsHelicopter is nearly ready to take off. Join the ride on nasa.gov/live

-April 9: Preflight briefing, 10am PT/1pm ET

-April 12: First flight data downlink, 12:30am PT/3:30am ET

-April 12: Postflight briefing, 8am PT/11am ET,” NASA tweeted.

Here are further details from NASA:

“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, including modeling of local wind patterns informed by measurements taken by the MEDA (Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer) instrument aboard Perseverance. Ingenuity will run its rotors to 2,537 rpm and, if all final self-checks look good, lift off. After climbing at a rate of about 3 feet per second (1 meter per second), the helicopter will hover at 10 feet (3 meters) above the surface for up to 30 seconds. Then, Ingenuity will descend and touch back down on the Martian surface.

Several hours after the first flight has occurred, Perseverance will downlink Ingenuity’s first set of engineering data and, possibly, images and video from the rover’s Navigation Cameras and Mastcam-Z, a pair of zoomable cameras. From the data downlinked that first evening after the flight, the Ingenuity team expects to be able to determine if its first attempt to fly at Mars was a success. Flight test results will be discussed by the Ingenuity team in a media conference that same day.”

This mosaic view shows NASA’s solar powered Ingenuity Mars Helicopter standing upright on Mars surface on all 4 four landing legs resting in between wheel tracks after being dropped about 4 inches (10 cm) from the belly of NASA’s Perseverance rover which then drove away to unveil the copter enabling its solar arrays to gather energy. This Sol 43 mosaic is comprised of two right rear hazcam camera color raw images taken on Sol 43 (April 4, 2021) and was stitched by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose. Shows local scene with wheel tracks rocks and soil out to the horizon and backdropped by Jezero Crater wall some 2 mi (3 km) away from where Perseverance touched down on Feb. 18, 2021 on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL/Ken Kremer/Space UpClose

My commentary about the search for life on Mars and the deployment of the Ingenuity Helicopter was featured in a live interview on March 30 on News Nation Cable TV News Network on ‘The Donlon Report’ illustrated with my Mars mosaics

I’ll be on live again on April 9 at 755 PM ET

The solar powered Ingenuity helicopter is a technology demonstration experiment aimed at attempting the first flight on Mars.

The four legged Ingenuity has a mass of about 4.0 pounds (1.8 kilograms) and stands 1.6 feet or 19 inches (0.49 meters) high.

Meanwhile Perseverance has been busy gathering high resolution imagery of her breathtaking surroundings nearby and off into the distance to the stunning walls of Jezero Crater some 2 miles (3 km) away.

High resolution zoomed in detailed panoramic view of Jezero Crater wall and Martain terrain seen by NASA Perseverance rover at landing site was captured in images taken by the Mastcam-Z camera. This Sol 38 mosaic of 3 color raw images taken by Mastcam-Z left side camera on March 30, 2021 was stitched by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose. Jezero Crater wall lies some 2 mi (3 km) away from where Perseverance touched down on Feb. 18, 2021 on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL/Ken Kremer/Space UpClose

Check out the spectacular Jezero Crater scenery in my new mosaics of images taken by the robots mast mounted zoomable Mastcam-Z camera on Sols 36 and 38 – see below.

High resolution zoomed in detailed panoramic view of Jezero Crater wall and Martain terrain seen by NASA Perseverance rover at landing site was captured in images taken by the Mastcam-Z camera. This Sol 36 mosaic of 3 color raw images taken by Mastcam-Z left side camera on March 28, 2021 was stitched by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose. Jezero Crater wall lies some 2 mi (3 km) away from where Perseverance touched down on Feb. 18, 2021 on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL/Ken Kremer/Space UpClose

Watch our live and complete ‘Stay Curious’ with live Perseverance landing commentary Feb 18, 2021 as well as March 22 mission update and earlier programs on Mars Mania on Feb 12.

 

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, Artemis and NASA missions, SpaceX, Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2, Demo-2, ISS, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

Ken has created hundreds of widely published Mars rover mosaics and lectures also about NASA’s Mars rovers

Please consider supporting Ken’s work by donating at Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/kenkremer

This graphic shows the general activities the team behind NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter hopes to accomplish on a given test flight on the Red Planet. The helicopter will have 31 Earth days (30 sols, or Martian days) for its test flight program. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
This image shows where NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter team will attempt its test flights. Helicopter engineers added the locations for the rover landing site (also known as “Octavia E. Butler Landing”), the airfield (the area where the helicopter will take off and return), and the flight zone (the area within which it will fly) on an image taken by the High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Some small rainbow-like color distortions (which do not actually appear on the terrain of Mars) are seen in this image near the landing location because of the way pre- and post-landing color images were merged. Credit: NASA/JPL

 

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Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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