While Curiosity recently shared the latest of several selfies it has captured over the years, NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover was not to be surpassed, and in its first selfie ever, it decided to share the spotlight with the Ingenuity drone.
As Digital trends reports, endurance took selfie with Ingenuity helicopter drone that is about 13 meters away from the body of the rover. Endurance captured the image using one of its robotic arms. The image was created from 62 images taken by Perseverance’s WATSON (wide-angle topographic sensor for operations and engineering) camera on the SHERLOC instrument (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) located at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. In this case, think of the long arm as a selfie stick.
These 62 images were sent back to earch, where NASA linked them to the finished images below. NASA says the photos were taken in sequence while the rover was looking at the drone and then again while looking at the camera. The finished stitch images are collected in these beautifully massive 112 megapixel photos:
To give an idea of how big the two photos are, NASA shared this dense crop of selfie, which is 4180 x 2350 pixels in size, only a small part of the giant full image of 12,341 x 9,076 pixels. Full resolution files can be downloaded here.
In addition to the still images above, NASA also put together a gif to show how the “head” of Perseverance rovers moved back and forth between looking at ingenuity and into the lens of the selfie camera.
To bots, and selfie. Greetings from Jezero Crater, where I took my first selfie of the mission. I also see #MarsHelicopter Ingenuity as it gets ready for its first flight in a few days. Bold mighty things.
Photos: https://t.co/owLX2LaK52 pic.twitter.com/rTxDNK69rs
– NASA’s endurance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) April 7, 2021
If it’s hard to imagine how NASA’s rovers take selfies, the organization has explained it in detail here as well as in the videos below.
These new selfie photos come after Perseverance successfully implemented Ingenuity from its position under the rover before a test flight scheduled to take place earlier this month. Before this step, endurance had to first drive to the “airfield”, where ingenuity would be delivered so that it could charge its solar-powered battery.
Now that it has been deployed, it has 30 days of Mars (31 Earth days) to complete its test flights.
As you can imagine, flying a camera drone on Mars is no easy task. According to NASA, the red planet not only has less gravity than Earth (about a third of the mass), the atmosphere is only 1% as dense. For more on what NASA is doing ahead of the monumental mission, check it out PetaPixels previous coverage here.