The rear hull and parachute of NASA’s Perseverance rover were photographed using a small drone capable of flying in the rarefied atmosphere of Mars.
These are never-before-seen images: never before has a spacecraft landing capsule been photographed this way after crashing into the ground. In this case, it is the rear hull and parachute of NASA’s Perseverance rover, which arrived intact on Mars a little over a year ago. The photo reveals the violence of the impact on the ground of this structure, which had dropped its payload without incident a few minutes earlier. She then continued her descent under a gigantic parachute, but this is not enough to land smoothly on Mars, where the atmosphere is a hundred times less dense than on Earth. This is also the reason why NASA has developed a platform equipped with retrorockets to safely deposit the machines on the red planet using cables.
If this image exists, it is because the American rover embarked for the first time on a small drone, Ingenuity, capable of flying in the rarefied atmosphere of Mars using its large blades more than a meter in diameter. This little demonstrator works beyond all expectations. He has accumulated nearly 52 minutes of flight during 27 sessions. He thus traveled more than 6.5 km.
It was during one of these flights that he was able to get to the site of the “crash”, which the rover would never have visited. NASA is indeed doing everything so that this “waste” cannot fall into an area of scientific interest. And since the rover’s time is extremely precious, no detours would have been made for the simple “pleasure” of seeing this spectacle, however fascinating.