Rover's Backshell Seen From the Air
This image of Perseverance's backshell sitting upright on the surface of Jezero Crater was collected from an altitude of 26 feet (8 meters) by NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter during its 26th flight at Mars on April 19, 2022. Engineers working on the Mars Sample Return program requested images be taken from an aerial perspective of the components because they may provide insight into the components' performance during the rover's entry, descent, and landing on Feb. 18, 2021.
The tangle of cables seen streaming out from the top of the backshell, and coated with Martian dust on the surface, are high-strength suspension lines that connect the backshell to Perseverance's supersonic parachute (upper left). The backshell and parachute helped protect the rover in deep space and during its fiery descent toward the Martian surface.
The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which also manages the project for NASA Headquarters. It is supported by NASA's Science Mission Directorate. NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley, and NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, provided significant flight performance analysis and technical assistance during Ingenuity's 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.