NASA’s helicopter found ‘otherworldly’ wreckage on Mars’ surface

  • The images were captured in 2021 on Mars
  • They could prove to be useful for NASA landing analysis in the future
  • The ‘Marscopter’ has an impressive list of achievements while on the Red Planet

Published on Dec 31, 2023 at 7:17 PM (UTC+4)
by Peter Fraser

Last updated on Jan 16, 2024 at 1:50 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Adam Gray

NASA’s helicopter found ‘otherworldly’ wreckage on Mars’ surface

Some jaw-dropping images of wreckage on Mars have been captured by a NASA helicopter.

The chopper, nicknamed Marscopter, was travelling over the Red Planet’s surface when it caught the snaps, adding to the incredible recent images from NASA of Uranus.

The NASA copter, officially named ‘Ingenuity’, took the pictures in April of 2022 and since then it has been the first aircraft to achieve powered flight in a controlled manner on another planet.

But the images of the debris feel like a bit of a gamechanger in Ingenuity’s list of achievements.

There’s a perfectly good explanation of the images, however.

So, before you think they are of some incredible ship from something out of Star Wars, hold on.

They are images of wreckage from the landing equipment from 2021, when Ingenuity first touched down on Mars with the Perseverance rover.

But it’s still a sign of the mind-blowing technology, which ranks up there with the recent, eye-catching, new, close-up images of the Moon.

Ian Clark, an engineer who worked on Perseverance’s parachute system, told the New York Times of the photographs: “There’s definitely a sci-fi element to it. It exudes otherworldly, doesn’t it?”

He also said: “They say a picture’s worth 1,000 words, but it’s also worth an infinite amount of engineering understanding.”

And it’s not just for us to look at in wonder.

These images could prove to be super-useful for NASA in the long term.

Clark said: “Perseverance had the best-documented Mars landing in history, with cameras showing everything from parachute inflation to touchdown.

“But Ingenuity’s images offer a different vantage point.

“If they either reinforce that our systems worked as we think they worked or provide even one dataset of engineering information we can use for Mars Sample Return planning, it will be amazing.

“And if not, the pictures are still phenomenal and inspiring.”

What incredible discoveries might be to come in 2024?

# Tags - Mars, NASA, Space, Tech


Peter Fraser