Damaged Helicopter Discovered by NASA Rover in the Heart of the Martian Desert
The damaged Ingenuity chopper is not fit for flight after a recent hard landing. The grounded alien helicopter is now visible to NASA’s Perseverance rover, sitting by itself in a valley on Mars.
The geovisual designer Simeon Schmauß processed and enhanced the NASA imagery below, which highlights the desolation of a very dry Mars. Mars is 1,000 times drier than the driest desert on Earth and has lost most of its insulating atmosphere.
If there has ever been Martian life, the Perseverance rover and its former airborne scout, Ingenuity, had been looking for the ideal locations to seek for it. The vehicle-sized rover will now hunt by itself.
The Ingenuity vessel made history prior to its most recent mishap. The first object to accomplish a powered, controlled flight on a different planet was the experimental robot. Then it continued to fly. Engineers originally thought Ingenuity might only fly five times, if at all, but it ended up flying 72 times on Mars. It could travel up to 2,315 feet in the air.
And it conquered a formidable flying obstacle. At just 1% of Earth’s volume, the Martian atmosphere is extremely thin. It is challenging to provide the lift required for flight as a result. Ingenuity’s four-foot rotor blades rotated at a blistering 2,400 revolutions per minute in order to take off.
However, a hard landing on January 18 caused the rotors to break. The lift required for flying is no longer produced by the helicopter.
Schmauß posted the pictures below on his Flickr profile, describing them as Ingenuity’s “final resting place among the sand ripples in Neretva Vallis.”
This sandy, flat surface proved to be Ingenuity’s death trap in the end. The chopper tracked the movement of things, such as boulders, underneath it using software for navigation. That sandy surface, however, was essentially “featureless,” as NASA put it.
“The more featureless the terrain is, the harder it is for Ingenuity to successfully navigate across it,” the space agency said in a statement. “The team believes that the relatively featureless terrain in this region was likely the root cause of the anomalous landing.”
Now, inventiveness will be shaped by and dependent upon the waves of Martian time. Maybe a dust storm or a common, but powerful, dust devil from Mars will topple the robot. However, its legacy is unquestionable. Creativity demonstrated that air travel is not only feasible but might play a significant role in Mars’ future. Perhaps a Martian plane will even soar above the barren planet in the ensuing decades.