A recent photo from NASA may surprise us. The aerial image shows a vast expanse of the surface of Mars and was taken by NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter during its 11th flight on the planet. Look closely at the photo. Can you spot NASA’s Perseverance Rover amid the Red Planet’s seemingly monochromatic desert? It’s right there, and NASA scientists are all gaga to watch their newest rover on the planet at work from a distance of 1,600 feet and a height of 39 feet. Ingenuity took many photos of Mars during its recent flight. Most of the photos showed geographic features such as sand dunes, boulders and rocky areas in the South Séítah region of Jezero Crater. But a few of the photos, when zoomed in, can show Perseverance working on its first science campaign.
On NASA’s website, Robert Hogg, Senior Systems Engineer at NASA, said, “Ingenuity’s aerial images are great — but even better when you ask ‘Where’s perseverance?’ with them.” He added: “Once you find our rover and zoom in, you can make out some of the details, such as the wheels, the remote sensing mast and the MMRTG (Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator) at the rear.”
But where do we find that little dot between the sand dunes? Any idea where Perseverance might be? If we look at one photo, we can clearly see Ingenuity’s shadow. Straight up, just past and to the right of the South Seitah dune we see a “bright white dot”. If we zoom in on that dot, that’s the Mars Rover we’re looking for.
According to NASA’s website, Ingenuity’s 11th flight was designed to stay ahead of the rover. The goal was to photograph geological features where the rover could not reach.
Meanwhile, Mars 2020 Perseverance mission rover did its work in astrobiology, looking for signs of ancient microbial life on the planet. The rover aims to collect data on the planet’s geology and past climate. NASA’s website says the Perseverance mission will be “the first mission to collect and cache Mars rock and regolith.”