Perseverance's Navcam Captures Ingenuity
One of the Navcam imagers aboard NASA's Perseverance Mars rover captured the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on Feb. 26, 2023, the 719th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. The helicopter is visible in the upper left of image. Ingenuity had landed there, at "Airfield Theta," on the previous sol at the conclusion of its 46th flight on Mars. At the time this enhanced image was taken, the helicopter was approximately 490 feet (150 meters) from the rover.
Figure A is the same enhanced image annotated to indicate the location of the Mars Helicopter in the distance.
A key objective for Perseverance's mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet's geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).
Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis.
The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA's Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed for the agency by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.
For more about Perseverance: mars.nasa.gov/mars2020