NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Captures Aerial View of Perseverance Rover on 11th Successful Flight

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Captures Aerial View of Perseverance Rover on 11th Successful Flight
This image of the “South Séítah” region of Jezero Crater was taken by NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter during its 11th flight on Aug. 4, 2021 and includes a new aerial view of the Perseverance rover mothership during her first science campaign. Ingenuity’s shadow is seen bottom center and a landing leg at middle left. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – Can you spot NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover mothership in the new aerial photo – shown above – taken by the agency’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter during its 11th incredible and successful flight above?

In addition to photographing Perseverance from above in the thin Martian air Ingenuity is functioning fantastically well as an active aerial scout surveilling future science targets in its recently expanded role supporting the Perseverance rover mothership.

You will have to look carefully to spy Perseverance because she is rather small and tends to blend in with the vast alien terrain of the Red Planet comprising boulders, sand dunes, and rocky outcrops prevalent in the “South Séítah” region of the Jezero Crater landing zone.

Well if you haven’t found her yet, take a gander almost to the top and just right of center

You’ll soon see Perseverance just beyond South Seítah’s dune field as a bright white speck.

The aerial image from the color camera shows what NASA’s Mars rover looks like from about 1,600 feet (500 meters) away and 39 feet (12 meters) up.

 

Ingenuity began as a technological demonstration to prove that powered, controlled flight on Mars is possible. It is now an operations demonstration intended to investigate how a rotorcraft can add an aerial dimension to missions like Perseverance, scouting possible areas of scientific interest and offering detailed views of nearby areas too hazardous for the rover to explore, the chopper team says.

Here is a zoomed in view for a better glimpse of Perseverance:

Ingenuity captured the Perseverance rover in an image taken during its 11th flight at Mars on Aug. 4.2021. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“Ingenuity’s aerial images are awesome – but even better when you get to play ‘Where’s Perseverance?’ with them,” said Robert Hogg, in a statement.

“Once you find our rover and zoom in, you can make out some details, like the wheels, remote sensing mast, and the MMRTG” – the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator – “on the aft end.”

The chopper team is now working in tandem with the rover team and used Flight 11 “to keep Ingenuity ahead of the rover.”

In this way Ingenuity can continue to support Perseverance’s science goals by photographing intriguing geologic features from the air.

During Flight 11 Ingenuity flew north-by-northwest at 11 mph (five meters per second) for a total flight time of 130.9 seconds.

It then landed safely at its 8th airfield.

Ingenuity captured this black and while view of its shadow while flight above Mars surface during its 11th flight at Mars on Aug. 4.2021. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“From this new staging area, the helicopter is scheduled to make at least one reconnaissance flight of the geologically intriguing South Séítah area,” said officials with the Mars rover team.

“#MarsHelicopter has safely flown to a new location! Ingenuity flew for 130.9 seconds and traveled about 380 meters before landing at a spot that will set up a series of future reconnaissance flights to help @NASAPersevere in its search for ancient microbial life,” the NASA JPL handlers tweeted.

Here is a map of Flight 11:

This annotated image of Mars’ Jezero Crater depicts the ground track and waypoints of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s planned 11th flight, that took place on Aug. 4, 2021. It was generated using terrain imaged by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The goal of Flight 11 is to move Ingenuity to a new location where it can support the Perseverance rover by obtaining imagery of geologic features in the “South Seítah” area. This graphic indicates the helicopter’s location at takeoff with a pale blue dot on the lower right; upper-left dots indicate its new landing site. Credit. NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Overall to date on a total of 11 flights Ingenuity has logged 19 minutes and approximately 1.2 nautical miles (2221 m) in the Martian skies.

On the prior 10th flight NASA’s groundbreaking Ingenuity Helicopter captured its first ever 3D aerial view of Mars while flying above the Red Planet’s surface – and accomplished that during its most complex flight to date on July 24.

This 3D view of geologic feature the Mars Perseverance rover team calls “Raised Ridges” was generated from data collected by Ingenuity during its 10th flight at Mars, on July 24, 2021. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

Flight 12 is upcoming no earlier than August 16 on Sol 174.

This mosaic shows NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter imaged by the Perseverance Mars rover on Sol 114, June 15, 2021 with dramatic Jezero Crater backdrop on Mars. This Sol 114 mosaic is comprised of three left Mastcam-Z left color raw images taken on June 15, 2021 and was stitched by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose. The images were captured after Flight 7 on Sol 107 (June 8, 2021) and prior to Flight 8 on Sol 120. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ken Kremer/Space UpClose

 

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, Artemis and NASA missions, SLS, Orion, SpaceX, ULA, 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 purchasing his photos and/or donating at Patreon or Paypal:

https://www.patreon.com/kenkremer

 

This mosaic shows NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover rear deck with power source and antennas and shadow at right backdropped by the floor of Jezero Crater on the Red Planet on Sol 123, June 25, 2021. This Sol 123 mosaic is comprised of two mast mounted right navcam color raw images taken on June 25, 2021 and stitched by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose. The images were captured after Ingenuity helicopter Flight 8 on Sol 120 (June 21). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ken Kremer/Space UpClose

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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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