October 23, 2021

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New photos from Ingenuity’s 9th flight help refine science goals for Perseverance

3 min read

A new batch of images taken by the Ingenuity helicopter during its recent flight over the surface of Mars is helping NASA scientists to refine science goals for the Perseverance rover and chart the best route forward as they search for signs of life on the Red Planet.

The color images, downlinked on Thursday (July 8) following Ingenuity’s ninth flight, show the surface of Jezero Crater, the landing site of the Perseverance rover, from an altitude of merely 33 feet (10 meters). The images allow scientists to see much smaller terrain features, such as individual boulders and rocks, than are visible in the images from Mars orbiters that are usually used for planning the route of the rover. For example, NASA’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, a camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, provides a resolution of 3 feet (1 m). To get to a finer level of detail, the teams would have to use the rover itself.

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