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NASA's Mars helicopter spots its Perseverance rover pal from above in an epic view (video)

NASA's Ingenuity helicopter captured this image of the Perseverance rover during its 11th flight on the Red Planet, on Aug. 5, 2021. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Can you spot the Mars rover in this view from NASA's Ingenuity helicopter?

While flying over the Red Planet for the 11th time last week, the little helicopter caught a view of its "mothership" — NASA's Perseverance rover, which landed in Mars' Jezero Crater with Ingenuity tucked under its belly on Feb. 18. 

"Ingenuity’s aerial images are awesome — but even better when you get to play 'Where's Perseverance?' with them," Robert Hogg, an engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a NASA statement. "Once you find our rover and zoom in, you can make out some details, like the wheels, remote sensing mast, and the MMRTG [Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator] on the aft end."

Video: Ingenuity spots Perseverance during 11th flight on Mars

At the time this photo was taken, Ingenuity was flying 39 feet (12 meters) above the Martian surface, about 1,600 feet (500 m) away from the rover. 

According to NASA's flight plan, the helicopter took off on Aug. 5 at approximately 12:50 a.m. EDT (0450 GMT) and flew north-by-northwest for 130.9 seconds, averaging a speed of about 11 mph (18 kph). 

A zoomed-in view of Ingenuity's photo reveals the Perseverance rover off in the distance. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

"Flight 11 was essentially designed to keep Ingenuity ahead of the rover, allowing it to continue to support Perseverance's science goals by photographing intriguing geologic features from the air," NASA officials said in the statement. 

The helicopter is expected to fly above this region of Jezero Crater, called "South Seítah," at least one more time during its mission on the Red Planet. 

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her on Twitter @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Hanneke Weitering

Hanneke Weitering is an editor at Space.com with 10 years of experience in science journalism. She has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time Hanneke likes to explore the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.