Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

NASA’s I?ge??ity Mars helicopter has go?e viral after s?appi?g photos o? the Red Pla?et of what looked like a flyi?g sa?cer — b?t was act?ally la?di?g gear from last year’s missio? to Mars.

The i?terpla?etary photo op was co?d?cted earlier this mo?th by the ‘copter, NASA reported. It had bee? dispatched by the space age?cy to s?rvey debris from the Persevera?ce rover’s historic la?di?g o? Feb. 18, 2021.

The 10 pics show a UFO-esq?e co?ical “backshell” that protected the rover i? deep space a?d d?ri?g its fiery desce?t toward the Martia? s?rface. Also visible is the res?lta?t debris field a?d the aeroshell’s 70.5-foot-wide parach?te — the biggest ever deployed o? Mars.

“It ex?des otherworldly, does?’t it?” Dr. Ia? Clark from NASA’s Jet Prop?lsio? Laboratory, told the New York Times of the Martia?-evoki?g discovery.

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