NASA has found "otherwordly" and "alien" wreckage on the surface of mars, but humans have no cause to worry.
The space agency sent their Ingenuity Mars helicopter to the Red Planet to survey debris from the Perseverance rover’s historic landing on Feb. 18, 2021.
The resulting photos went viral, and even the experts admit that they look alien.
“It exudes otherworldly, doesn’t it?” Dr Ian Clark from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told The New York Times.
The eerie images show a conical “backshell” that protected the rover in deep space and during its fiery descent and the resultant debris field, and the aeroshell’s 70.5-foot-wide parachute.
NASA noted that both pieces of equipment were intact, which was remarkable given the “fast-paced and stressful” nature of “entry, descent, and landing on Mars,” according to the space agency’s report.
The report added that landing vehicles must endure “the gravitational forces, high temperatures, and other extremes that come with entering Mars’ atmosphere at nearly 12,500 miles per hour.”
However, “several weeks of analysis” are still needed before the team can reach a verdict on the wreckage.
The reconnaissance mission also proved difficult for Ingenuity. The craft had to conduct multiple trips and execute tricky manoeuvres to get the fascinating pictures.
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“To get the shots we needed, Ingenuity did a lot of manoeuvring, but we were confident because there was complicated manoeuvring on flights 10, 12 and 13,” said Håvard Grip, chief pilot of Ingenuity.
“Our landing spot set us up nicely to image an area of interest for the Perseverance science team on Flight 2, near ‘Séítah’ ridge.”
However, these images weren’t the first captured of the rover’s equipment.
“Perseverance had the best-documented Mars landing in history, with cameras showing everything from parachute inflation to touchdown,” Clark added.
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