NASA ‘s Ingenuity helicopter rose from the Martian ground on September 24 for a short repositioning flight, and it apparently wasn’t alone on this flight. Navigation images from the flight show a light-colored object stuck to the helicopter for at least part of the journey.
The object definitely looks like a small piece of toilet paper and floats around the Earth as if it were stuck to the bottom of your shoe. NASA calls these unidentified things ” alien debris pieces .”
There's something on your foot, #MarsHelicopter! 👀
We’re looking into a bit of debris that ended up on Ingenuity's foot during its latest aerial commute. As shown in the GIF, it eventually came off and did not impact a successful Flight 33. https://t.co/S78Chpo2uO pic.twitter.com/oFnRUBy4aq
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) October 1, 2022
What Object Is Being Investigated by NASA
The navigation camera is located at the bottom of the rotorcraft. Usually, one of Ingenuity’s four legs is visible in one corner of the images, but the rest is not. This object appeared in a different corner and seemed to fly around during the flight.
Images taken shortly after the flight show nothing unusual in the same spot, suggesting that the object may have crashed or disappeared out of camera range.
“All telemetry and post-flight data from the flight are nominal and show no signs of vehicle damage ,” NASA JPL said on Friday . He said they were investigating the source of the object .