Although Curiosity recently shared the latest of several selfies he has taken over the years, NASA rover Mars Perseverance was not to be outdone, and in his first selfie he ever decided to share the light with the Ingenuity drone.
As Digital trends reports, Perseverance took a selfie with an Ingenuity helicopter drone about 13 feet away from the rover’s body. Perseverance captured the image using one of his robotic arms. The image is based on 62 images captured by Perseverance’s WATSON (wide-angle topographic sensor for operations and e-engineering) camera on a SHERLOC instrument (scanning habitable environments with Raman and luminescence for organic and chemical products), located at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. . In this case, imagine that long arm as a selfie stick.
Those 62 images were returned to earch where NASA merged them into finished images below. NASA says the images were taken in sequence while the rover was looking at the drone, and then again while looking at the camera. The finished stick images merge into these beautifully massive 112-megapixel photos:
To give an idea of how big the two photos are, NASA shared this close-up selfie measuring 4180 x 2350 pixels, just a small portion of the giant full image of 12,341 x 9,076 pixels. You can download the full resolution files here.
In addition to the aforementioned stills, NASA has also put together a gif showing how the “head” of the Perseverance rover moved back and forth between looking at ingenuity and a selfie camera lens.
Two bots, one selfie. Greetings from Crater Lake, where I took my first selfie on the mission. I’m watching too #MarsHelicopter Ingenuity as he prepares for his first flight in a few days. Brave mighty things.
Images: https://t.co/owLX2LaK52 pic.twitter.com/rTxDNK69rs
– NASA’s persistent Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) April 7, 2021
If it’s hard to imagine NASA rovers taking selfies, the organization explained it in detail here, as in the videos below.
These new selfie photos come after Perseverance successfully deployed Ingenuity from its position under the rover ahead of a test flight scheduled for earlier this month. Prior to this phase, Perseverance first had to be taken to an “airfield” where ingenuity would be delayed so that it could charge the solar-powered battery.
Now that it is deployed, it has 30 Martian days (31 Earth days) to perform test flights.
As you can imagine, flying a drone to Mars is not an easy task. According to NASA, not only does the Red Planet have less gravity than Earth (about one-third the amount), the atmosphere is only 1% dense. For more information on what NASA is doing before this monumental task, see the article PetaPixel’s earlier reporting here.