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NASA sees ‘otherworldly’ wreckage on Mars with ingenuity helicopter

NASA sees ‘otherworldly’ wreckage on Mars with ingenuity helicopter

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The object resembles a flying saucer that crashed on Mars. And indeed it is.

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Instead, the wreckage is the work of NASA, a component called a backshell that detached during the landing of the Perseverance rover on the surface of the red planet in February 2021.

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“There’s definitely a sci-fi element to it,” Ian Clark, an engineer who worked on Perseverance’s parachute system, said of photographs released Wednesday. “It exudes otherworldly, doesn’t it?”

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After spending a year exploring the rocks of the crater it landed in, the Perseverance rover passed near its landing site on its way to a river delta that once flowed along the western rim of the crater

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The rover’s small robotic companion, the helicopter Ingenuity, continues to tag along.

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The backshell, nearly 15 feet in diameter, hit the ground at about 78 mph, partially shattering

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