NASA Mars Helicopter Takes Flight With Bizarre Particles Caught to Its Leg


This story is a part of Welcome to Mars, our collection exploring the crimson planet.

NASA’s plucky Ingenuity helicopter rose off the Martian floor on Sept. 24 for a brief repositioning flight, and it appears prefer it wasn’t alone. Navigation photos from the flight seem to indicate a light-colored, flowing object caught to the chopper for not less than a part of the journey.

The material-like object within the decrease nook circled in crimson appears to have taken a part of a flight with NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter in September.


The thing appears like somewhat piece of bathroom paper which may get caught to the underside of your shoe on Earth. NASA calls these unidentified issues “overseas particles objects,” or FOD.

The navigation digital camera is positioned on the underside of the rotorcraft. Often, one among Ingenuity’s 4 ft seems in a nook of the photographs, however the remaining aren’t seen. The streamer appeared in a unique nook and appeared to flop round in the course of the flight.

Photos from somewhat later within the flight do not present something uncommon within the nook, suggesting the particles might have fallen off or disappeared out of digital camera vary.

Since there is not any bathroom paper on Mars I do know of, I’ve dropped a line to NASA to see if the merchandise in query has been recognized or analyzed and if it is a trigger for concern for the rotorcraft’s operation. 

NASA JPL mentioned in an announcement on Friday it is wanting into the supply of the particles, saying, “All telemetry from the flight and a post-flight search and switch are nominal and present no indication of car injury.”

Ingenuity is buzzing across the Jezero Crater on Mars together with its companion Perseverance rover. Ingenuity’s newest flight was its thirty third, a testomony to the machine’s longevity. The resilient helicopter has lengthy outlived its anticipated lifespan and continues to impress with its potential to take to the skies regardless of occasional technical challenges and dusty situations that pressure its solar-powered battery system.

Jezero is a windy place and Perseverance has already encountered a good quantity of particles that appears to be left over from its dramatic arrival in early 2021. That particles has diverse from a spaghetti-like clump of fabric to a shiny piece of foil to a bit thread-like string that received into its pattern system. It is doubtless Ingenuity’s stowaway has an analogous origin story.

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