NASA has officially named the area where the Ingenuity helicopter completed its final flight on Mars as the “Eldamar Hills.” The helicopter, which accompanied the Mars rover from February 18, 2021, to January 18, 2024, concluded its mission after completing 72 flights. Scientists at NASA have determined that the device will no longer continue exploration on Mars. The newly designated area’s name is inspired by a place of eternal peace and tranquility, where evil does not exist. Some experts compare it to a Martian version of the heavenly Eldamar, known from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Unfortunately, the monotonous Martian terrain made it difficult for Ingenuity to determine its position, as it lacked a distinctive reference point.
An image of this area was created from six photographs taken by the Perseverance rover from a distance of 450 meters. The photo shows a small object, which is the Ingenuity helicopter. While Ingenuity is in good condition, it does have one mechanical defect – visible damage to one of the rotor blades, which has rendered it unable to fly properly. However, as long as Ingenuity remains within the range of the Perseverance rover, it can transmit diagnostic data that will be utilized in the future.
Meanwhile, Perseverance continues its solitary journey. The rover’s main objective is to study the planet and collect samples. If all goes according to plan, and NASA’s funding remains intact, these samples will reach Earth within the next decade.
Source of images: NASA
Source of text: NASA, Space.com