NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter snapped a beautiful image of a Martian sunset late last month.
The helicopter, which recently took off on its 45th flight, used its high-resolution color camera to capture the scene.
The camera is located in the helicopter’s fuselage and was pointed around 22 degrees below the horizon on Feb. 22 – or Sol 714 of the Perseverance rover mission.
Ingenuity continues to make flights around the red planet’s Jezero Crater.
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NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter acquired this image using its high-resolution color camera. This camera is mounted in the helicopter’s fuselage and pointed approximately 22 degrees below the horizon. This image was acquired on Feb. 22, 2023 (Sol 714 of the Perseverance rover mission) at the local mean solar time of 17:08:13. This was the date of Ingenuity’s 45th flight. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)
It’s now well beyond its operational life expectancy.
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NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter unlocked its rotor blades, allowing them to spin freely, on April 7, 2021, the 47th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)
The helicopter arrived at the crater in February 2021 and completed its first flight in April of that year.
While it was talked with just a few test flights, its role expanded to serve as a scout for the Mars rover.
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter is seen here in a close-up taken by Mastcam-Z, a pair of zoomable cameras aboard the Perseverance rover. This image was taken on April 5, the 45th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU)
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Ingenuity has now flown 46 times.