Contrary to what happened until a few months ago, the continuous successes of the small Ingenuity helicopter on Mars no longer arouse as much surprise as at the beginning and those that were considered high-risk routes have now become almost routine. But everything changes when what looks like a simple overflight of the red planet actually allows you to take more unique than rare photos, and something like this happened during flight number 26.
The route was brought to an end on April 19 and allowed the helicopter to cover a horizontal distance of 360 meters, rising to about 8 meters in height from the ground and covering the entire journey in 152.9 seconds, at a speed of approximately 3.8 m / s. Nothing strange and transcendental compared to far more demanding routes, but it is the photos that we will show you shortly to give added value to the operation. In reality, a similar shot had been taken a few days earlier by the Perseverance rover, but those taken in flight by Ingenuity are of a completely different charm.
We had talked about it in the aforementioned special, telling you how during the approach to the ancient river delta the Perseverance rover was able to identify the remains of the old heat shield and parachute that last year had allowed to bring to finished landing on Mars.
The image taken from a distance struck us particularly, but the ones made by Ingenuity are absolutely screaming, since the aerial view allows you to enjoy some details never seen before. Here they are to follow.
We can see very clearly the remains of the parachute in the foreground, particularly dusty after more than a year on the Martian soil. But that’s not all, they are the remains of the heat shield are also visiblecracked and full of cracks as a result of the impact with the ground.
At the moment there does not seem to be any intention to move any further with the rover for further investigation, as these days all attention is focused on the remains of the ancient river delta, but considering that the landing procedure on Mars was the most documented of the human history we cannot rule out an approach in the coming months. In addition to simple curiosity for documentation purposes, a possible check of the remains of the parachute and the heat shield could be useful for the development of ever better ditching systems for future missions, so we cannot rule out a similar operation by NASA.