Ingenuity shows Perservance the way

Images of the copter show dunes, river beds and crater edges. The images help the surgical team to guide the rover safely through rough terrain.

Of his The trickiest flight is the Mars helicopter Bring high resolution photos. According to NASA, this not only gave the scientists information about specific rock layers, but also helped them plan the next steps. Dune fields pose a threat to the rover – Ingenuity’s images help to avoid them. The aim of the two expedition vehicles: astrobiological investigations in a lake that dried up billions of years ago.

Layers of rock as documentaries of the planet

The photos provided new insights into where different rock layers begin. Each layer records information about the climate in which it was formed. Geologists can use it to reconstruct the history of the planet. After all, there are still some secrets of Mars to discover, such as how it lost its atmosphere and whether there was ever life there.

If you look closely, you can see a heart that the rover left it in the Martian sand. (Photo: Nasa / JPL-Caltech

Was there life in Jezero Crater?

One of the reasons for the mission landing at this point is the assumption that the Jezero crater was once a dry lake. Scientists suspect that it was billions of years ago. They discovered grooves a long time ago and wonder whether water has run down there. That in turn could have dissolved minerals that may have served as nourishment for ancient microbiological colonies. This is where the rover’s next destination is, which is supposed to investigate this ideal place for the search for life more closely – the heads of the mission are also planning drilling here.

Dangerous path thanks to Ingenuity drone well known

First, however, Perservance must arrive there unscathed. The flight of the copter, which scouted out the possible route, served for more detailed clarification. On the way is Séítah, a field of dunes that the plane extensively photographed. “Sand is a big problem,” says Olivier Toupet, who heads the mobility team. He explains why: “If we go downhill into a dune, we could get stuck there and not get out.” The sand dunes in Séíta are often knee or waist high and the rover weighs two tons – an awkward combination. When asked whether Perservance can cross it, Olivier Toupet replies with an unmistakable “no”. Thanks to the new recordings, the researchers can still learn a lot about the area. The rover could never get this close to deliver such detailed images. Toupet and his team are rather happy to receive better terrain images for route planning. “This is great information for us; they help to identify which areas the rover could drive through and whether certain high-quality scientific goals can be achieved, ”he says happily.

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