Can you spot the Mars rover in this view from NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter?
While flying over the Red Planet for the 11th time last week, the little helicopter caught a view of its “mothership” — NASA’s Perseverance rover, which landed in Mars’ Jezero Crater with Ingenuity tucked under its belly on Feb. 18.
“Ingenuity’s aerial images are awesome — but even better when you get to play ‘Where’s Perseverance?’ with them,” Robert Hogg, an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a NASA statement. “Once you find our rover and zoom in, you can make out some details, like the wheels, remote sensing mast, and the MMRTG [Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator] on the aft end.”
At the time this photo was taken, Ingenuity was flying 39 feet (12 meters) above the Martian surface, about 1,600 feet (500 m) away from the rover.
According to NASA’s flight plan, the helicopter took off on Aug. 5 at approximately 12:50 a.m. EDT (0450 GMT) and flew north-by-northwest for 130.9 seconds, averaging a speed of about 11 mph (18 kph).
“Flight 11 was essentially designed to keep Ingenuity ahead of the rover, allowing it to continue to support Perseverance’s science goals by photographing intriguing geologic features from the air,” NASA officials said in the statement.
The helicopter is expected to fly above this region of Jezero Crater, called “South Seítah,” at least one more time during its mission on the Red Planet.
Email Hanneke Weitering at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.