Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2023 June 24
Explanation: The multicolor, stereo imaging Mastcam-Z on the Perseverance rover zoomed in to capture this 3D close-up (get out your red/blue glasses) of the Mars Ingenuity helicopter on mission sol 45. That's Earth-date 2021 April 5. Casting a shadow on the Martian surface, Ingenuity is standing alone on its four landing legs next to the rover's wheel tracks. The experimental helicopter's solar panel, charging batteries that keep it warm through the cold Martian nights and power its flight, sits just above Ingenuity's two 1.2 meter (4 foot) long counter-rotating blades. Thirteen sols later, on April 19, Ingenuity became the first aircraft to perform powered, controlled flight on another planet. It has since gone on to complete more than 50 flights through the thin atmosphere of Mars.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.