NASA Drone Captures The First-Ever Color Photo Of Mars

One Small Flight For A Drone, One Giant Leap For Mankind.


NASA has captured its first color photograph of Mars on April 22nd, 2021. Ironically, on Earth Day. 

On Thursday of last week, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was in the middle of its second successful flight test when it captured the image of the Martian surface with its color camera. Ingenuity was 17 feet above the surface of the planet at the time, preparing for its 7-foot translation to the west and away from the Perseverance Mars rover.

The image depicts a portion of the tracks left by the Mars rover, which will monitor the Ingenuity Helicopter for a month, as well as a unique aerial perspective of the Red Planet’s surface and the features of its terrain. NASA stressed the advantage of the helicopter’s camera, saying it “demonstrates the utility of scouting Martian terrain from an aerial perspective.”

“Mounted in the helicopter’s fuselage and pointed approximately 22 degrees below the horizon, Ingenuity’s high-resolution color camera contains a 4208-by-3120-pixel sensor,” said NASA of the camera which took the photo.

This first color image becomes an instantly historic moment, and a monumental one at that. We’ll explain— the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was sent with the purpose of testing NASA’s ability to operate an aerial vehicle in the Martian atmosphere, which apparently has just 1% of the density on Earth’s atmosphere. This makes it hard for it to even get off the ground, which makes the image taken while it was aloft that much more significant. The drone is testing the waters, if you will.

The plan (as Elon Musk will not stop talking about) is to get the planet in habitable condition and get people up there, one day. if Musk's word is to be trusted, civilization in Mars could be a reality in approximately ten years. One small flight for a drone (it really can’t fly too high), one giant leap for mankind. 

Nevertheless, happy belated Earth Day to our lovely home! 

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