A new set of images taken by the Ingenuity helicopter during its recent flight to the surface of Mars is helping NASA scientists refine the Perseverance rover’s science objectives and chart the best way forward as they search for signs of life on this planet. Red. . The color image of
descending after Ingenuity’s ninth flight on Thursday (July 8) shows the surface of Jezero Crater, the landing site of the Perseverance rover, at an elevation of just 33 feet (10 meters). These images allow scientists to see smaller topographic features, such as individual boulders and rocks, compared to the Mars orbiter images that are often used to plan the vehicle’s route. For example, NASA’s high-resolution imaging science experiment, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s camera, provides a resolution of 3 feet (1 m). For finer details, the team should use the rover itself. Ken Williford, Perseverance Associate Project Scientist at
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said in a statement: Once the rover gets close enough to a certain location, we will get Earth-scale images that can be compared with orbital images.” The space agency is in California. “Through Ingenuity, we now have this medium-scale image that can perfectly fill the resolution gap.”
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The image taken on July 5 shows some features that scientists are very interested in, hoping to find traces of life in the past or present of Jezero Crater. The so-called raised ridge is a characteristic of the rock, and scientists believe that it was used as an underground waterway in the past. Since life is more likely to exist in watery environments, scientists are seeking to collect material samples from these ridges, which can be brought back to Earth on future sample return missions.
“Our current plan is to visit the raised ridge and investigate it closely,” Williford said. “The resolution of the helicopter images is much better than the orbital images we use. Studying them will allow us to ensure that access to these ridges is important to the team.”
In the last flight, Ingenuity also flew over the Séítah dunes, which the Perseverance rover expected Will pass there. However, since the depth of the sand layer may exceed 3 feet, the sand dune is a potential trap for six-wheelers.
“Sand is a big problem,” Olivier Toupet, a Perseverance pilot at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement. “If we go downhill towards the dunes, we may be trapped inside and never get out again.
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NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter spotted this during its 9th flight on July 5 The location is nicknamed the “raised ridge”. Scientists hope to visit the “convex ridge” with Perseverance Wanderers in the future.
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter discovered the location nicknamed “Raised Ridge” during its 9th flight on July 5. Scientists hope to visit the “convex ridge” with Perseverance Wanderers in the future. (Photo credit: NASA / JPLCaltech) On July 5, 2021,
NASA Ingenuity Mars helicopters flew over this dune area on their 9th flight, located in an area nicknamed “Séítah” in Jezero crater. On July 5, 2021, the
NASA Ingenuity Mars helicopter flew over this dune area in the Jezero crater area on its 9th flight, the area nicknamed “Séítah”. (Photo credit: NASA/JPLCaltech)
Ingenuity Mars helicopter NASA team flies over these sand rock dunes during the ninth flight on July 5, 2021. Although the institution’s Perseverance Mars cannot risk being trapped in this sand, scientists can still learn about the area by studying it. Image from Ingenuity.
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter flew over these dunes and rock dunes on its 9th flight on July 5, 2021. Although the agency’s Perseverance Mars cannot risk being trapped in this sandy ground, scientists can still understand this. By studying its area from the Ingenuity image. (Image source: NASA / JPLCaltech) Even for the new Perseverance AutoNav feature, the
dunes are tricky, using artificial intelligence to drive the rover long distances, Toupet added. Although this feature can avoid rocks, sand dunes are difficult to spot. Therefore, the new Ingenuity images will help land operators better identify high-risk areas in and around the dune area.
“The helicopter is an extremely valuable asset in rover planning because it provides high-resolution images of the terrain we want to traverse,” Toupet said. “We can better assess the size of the dunes and where the bedrock sticks out. This is good information for us; it helps determine the areas that the rover can traverse and whether certain high-value scientific goals can be achieved. ”
Unfortunately, the latest images show that the Séítah oil field is too risky for Perseverance to attempt bolder scientific exploration. Ground control. However, NASA stated in a statement that these images can be used to better plan the rover. Other scientific actions in the dune field that will be explored in the future.

By Peter

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