As you may know, NASA's newest Martian rover, Perseverance, has been on the Red Planet for a while now. Since its arrival in February, the vehicle has been checking in with Earth, sending us images and audio to help us all get acquainted with its cool new digs. (And we do mean 'cool'—Mars is one chilly planet!)
Each time we get this info sent to us, we get a clearer picture of this robot's curious life on this world. It's a little like watching Wall-E (one of our favourite movies, by the way), especially since Perseverance (or Percy for short) has a tiny pal, too. The mini-helicopter drone, Ingenuity!
Percy's photo album!
We thought that now would be a good time to take a look at some of the latest photos NASA has received, as well as one from another source.
This tweet has a two-frame animation of Percy saying hello to his little friend. Adorable!
Two bots, one selfie. Greetings from Jezero Crater, where I’ve taken my first selfie of the mission. I’m also watching the #MarsHelicopter Ingenuity as it gets ready for its first flight in a few days. Daring mighty things indeed.
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) April 7, 2021
Meanwhile, China's Tianwen-1 probe has been busy orbiting and observing Mars from high above. It sent this haunting image of a crescent Mars back in March.
We hope you loved those pictures as much as we do!
And big news: Ingenuity should be attempting its historic first flight sometime very soon.
The NASA drone is aiming to be the first vehicle to fly on another planet. This is different than the landing of a vehicle like Percy on the surface—in this case, the drone would be able to takeoff and land just like any air vehicle here on Earth.
The reason this is tricky is because Mars' atmosphere is so much thinner than ours and the planet is much colder. Even on Earth, flying in places like Antarctica can be next to impossible at certain times of the year. Engineers tested the Ingenuity probe for years so it could master this tricky task. Will it be successful? NASA is expected to announce the date of its first flight soon, and we'll be watching closely!