The drogue parachute and protective rear wall are surprisingly well preserved on Mars. The Mars helicopter Ingenuity has flown over the landing site of the Mars rover Perseverance and shot spectacular photos.
The still well-preserved rear wall can be seen in the bottom center and the remains of the parachute can still be seen at the top edge of the screen.
During its 26th flight on April 19, 2022, the Mars Ingenuity helicopter scanned and photographed the remains of the equipment that was instrumental in bringing the Mars rover Perseverance, along with its Mars Ingenuity helicopter, safely to the surface on February 18, 2021 could land on the red planet. This was announced by NASA. Here, the US space agency describes the flight and photos in detail. We reported in detail about the landing at the time: Mars landing successful – Perseverance has landed. You can read about exactly how the landing approach to Mars went in this report: NASA rover lands on Mars with helicopter – 7 minutes of terror.
The structure of the landing group: At the top the rear wall with the parachute.
Perseverance had reached the thin atmosphere of Mars on February 18, 2021 at 19,312 km/h. A 21 meter parachute reduced the speed. The spacecraft’s steering/brake jets launched about 1.5 kilometers above the surface of Mars. The entire loading process was automated, NASA had no way of intervening.
Here you can see relatively far to the right of the picture when Perseverance/Ingenuity separated from the rear wall and parachute.
Ingenuity took the ten color photos of the landing equipment from a height of about eight meters above the Martian surface. Ingenuity’s photos show the protective backshell that Perseverance shed just before landing. The rear wall was attached to the drag parachute, which for some time slowed Perseverance down to the Martian surface. Only shortly before landing did the Mars rover (including Ingenuity) separate from the rear wall with the parachute and fly the remaining distance to Mars alone with its brake jets activated.
The photos now published by NASA show this back wall with the parachute still attached. Both parts are still clearly visible and in surprisingly good condition. There have never been such good photographs of the remains of a Mars landing.
However, Ingenuity has long since left the landing site and continues to explore Mars together with Perservance. The NASA scientists want to use the photos to determine how they can make landings on Mars even safer.