Perseverance took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter, seen here 4 m (13 feet) away in this image from April 6, 2021.
This image was taken by the WATSON camera on the robotic arm of Perseverance on April 6, 2021 (46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission). Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS.
The car-sized rover also is carrying a technology experiment — the Ingenuity Mars helicopter — that will attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet.
“Once we’re ready to attempt the first flight, Perseverance will receive and relay to Ingenuity the final flight instructions from mission controllers,” said members of the Perseverance team.
“Several factors will determine the precise time for the flight, including modeling of local wind patterns.”
“Ingenuity will run its rotors to 2,537 rpm and, if all final self-checks look good, lift off,” they explained.
This low-resolution view of the floor of Mars’ Jezero Crater and a portion of two wheels of Perseverance was captured by the color imager aboard the Ingenuity Mars helicopter. The image was taken on April 3, 2021, while the solar-powered rotorcraft was still beneath the rover after being deployed. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech.
“After climbing at a rate of about 1 m per second (3 feet per second), the helicopter will hover at 3 m (10 feet) above the surface for up to 30 seconds.”
“Then, Ingenuity will descend and touch back down on the Martian surface.”
“Several hours after the first flight has occurred, Perseverance will downlink Ingenuity’s first set of engineering data and, possibly, images and video from the rover’s Navigation Cameras and Mastcam-Z, a pair of zoomable cameras.”
“From the data downlinked that first evening after the flight, the Ingenuity team expects to be able to determine if its first attempt to fly at Mars was a success.”
“Flight test results will be discussed by the Ingenuity team in a media conference that same day.”
Perseverance captured the new selfie using the Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering (WATSON) camera, part of the (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument, located at the end of the rover’s robotic arm.
The selfie was stitched together from 62 individual images taken while the rover was looking at the helicopter, then again while it was looking at the WATSON camera.