NASA finds ‘otherworldly’ landing equipment wreckage on surface of Mars

NASA’s Mars helicopter has captured incredible pictures of an “otherworldly” wreckage on the surface of the Red Planet. 

The photos were taken by NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter – dubbed the Marscopter – and the first aircraft to achieve flight on another planet. 

The helicopter has completed 67 flights and is preparing to embark on its longest ever to date. 

The images, taken last April, show a destroyed wreckage on the surface of Mars, but while they have been dubbed “otherworldly” are not alien in origin. 

The debris is actually from the landing equipment that touched down with the Ingenuity and the Perseverance rover in 2021.

Speaking to the NY Times, Ian Clark, an engineer who worked on Perseverance’s parachute system, said: “There’s definitely a sci-fi element to it. It exudes otherworldly, doesn’t it?”

He continued: “They say a picture’s worth 1,000 words, but it’s also worth an infinite amount of engineering understanding.”

The photos could offer insight to other technicians working on future missions to Mars, according to Clark. 

He said: “Perseverance had the best-documented Mars landing in history, with cameras showing everything from parachute inflation to touchdown. But Ingenuity’s images offer a different vantage point.”

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He said: “If they either reinforce that our systems worked as we think they worked or provide even one dataset of engineering information we can use for Mars Sample Return planning, it will be amazing. And if not, the pictures are still phenomenal and inspiring.”

Vehicles landing on the surface of Mars are subject to extremes like high temperatures when they enter the thin atmosphere at almost 12,500 miles per hour. 

Ingenuity has far exceeded NASA’s expectations. The helicopter was only supposed to make five flights on the planet but is now gearing up for its 68th. 

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