NASA is investigating a strange mysterious object attached to their special Mars helicopter.
Experts noticed something odd about Ingenuity, the space agency’s helicopter used to search for signs of life on the red planet.
The wreckage was discovered when the bot successfully completed its 33rd flight.
NASA calls such things Foreign Object Debris (FOD).
The wobbly thing eventually fell off and landed back on the surface of Mars.
“This FOD was not visible in Navcam footage from the previous flight (32),” Nasa said.
“The FOD can be seen in the Flight 33 Navcam images from the first few frames until about halfway through the video, when it fell off the leg and drifted back to the Martian surface.
“All telemetry data from the flight and a post-flight search and transmission are nominal and show no evidence of vehicle damage.
“The Ingenuity and Perseverance Mars 2020 teams are working to identify the source of the debris.”
NASA’s robots on Mars stumble upon things from time to time.
Usually it’s debris from past missions.
Scattered across the surface of Mars are man-made objects from decades of exploration dating back to the first crash-landing on the red planet in 1971.
Over the summer, Nasa found a spaghetti-like substance.
It turned out to be a web from a February 2021 mission when Ingenuity and its rover companion Perseverance arrived on Mars.
The rover has also previously caught a glimpse of its own thermal blanket wedged in the jaws of a dinosaur shaped rock.
Endurance – What’s on board?
Perseverance has a total of 19 cameras and two microphones and carries seven scientific instruments.
- Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL)
An X-ray “ray gun” that will help scientists study the composition of Martian rocks.
2. Radar Imager for the Mars Underground Experiment (RIMFAX)
A ground-penetrating radar that maps buried rocks, meteorites and even possible underground water sources to depths of 10 meters (33 feet).
3. Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer (MEDA)
A set of sensors that measure temperature, wind speed and direction, pressure and other atmospheric conditions.
4. Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment (MOXIE)
An experiment that converts carbon dioxide from Mars into oxygen. An enlarged version could be used in the future to provide breathing air for Martian colonists.
A set of instruments for remotely measuring the composition of rock and regolith
6. Mastcam Z
A camera system that can capture “3D” images by combining two or more photos into one.
7. Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC)
From Baker Street to Mars: Sherloc contains a UV laser designed to examine Martian rocks for organic compounds.
Learn more about science
Want to learn more about the weird and wonderful world of science? From the moon to the human body, we’ve got you covered…
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science Team? Email us at email@example.com
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9504607/nasa-mars-ingenuity-foreign-object-debris-attached/ Nasa investigates mysterious object that has ‘attached’ to Mars helicopter – The Irish Sun