The NASA rover is currently conducting scientific investigations on Mars. Among his most recent accomplishments was placing the Creativity Helicopter on Mars for the first time. The creativity had been stored away under persistence for months before the probe was launched to the Red Planet.
More recently, Perseverance used the camera on her robotic arm take a picture From itself with a nearby creativity helicopter in the background. Creativity was about 13 feet away from perseverance in the photo, which was taken April 6, 2021. That date was the 46th Mars Day of the mission.
The camera that we can thank for the selfie is called WATSON or Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Electronic Operations and Engineering. WATSON is part of the SHERLOC instrument at the end of the robotic arm. The personal photo is not taken as a single photo. Instead, they were grouped together from 62 individual photos taken while observing the helicopter’s Tenacity.
Some pictures were taken again while looking at the WATSON camera. Perseverance is near the Ingenuity helicopter to receive and relay final flight instructions from mission controllers for the first test flight of the aircraft. NASA notes that several factors will determine the exact time of the flight, including the modeling of local wind patterns.
The twin rotors that NASA hopes will propel creativity into the air at 2,537 rpm. The helicopter will soar into the sky at a speed of about three feet per second and hover 10 feet above the surface for up to 30 seconds. Then creativity itself safely descends to Earth. The flight data, along with photos and video, will be sent to Earth several hours after the flight. A successful journey to creativity could change the way Mars is explored in the future.