KEY POINTS

  • The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has had several impressive flights on the Red Planet
  • NASA shared a 3D view of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter's third flight on Mars
  • The agency also shared simple steps to create 3D glasses

Still can't get enough of the Mars Ingenuity helicopter's first flights on the Red Planet? NASA has just come up with a way for people to watch it in 3D.

The Perseverance rover is already an incredible feat in itself, but the Ingenuity helicopter that came along with it on the trip is also making waves of its own. Since arriving on Mars, Ingenuity has completed several historic flights, and the Perseverance rover even captured hi-resolution audio and video of it.

For instance, footage from last April 25 shows the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter taking off, flying away then perfectly landing back. It was captured by the Mastcam-Z on the Perseverance Rover's "head." On that third flight, it rose 16 feet (5 meters) and flew downrange 164 feet (50 meters), NASA said in a news release. It was a record at the time until it was broken by its subsequent flights.

Now, NASA has shared a rather special view of this historic moment, releasing a version of it in 3D. This means that those who happen to have 3D glasses lying around the house may have a special glimpse of Ingenuity's recent flight.

"The Mastcam-Z video capability was inherited from the Mars Science Laboratory MARDI (Mars Descent Imager) camera," Justin Maki, the imaging scientist who led the team that "stitched" the video together from images, said in the NASA news release. "To be reusing this capability on a new mission by acquiring 3D video of a helicopter flying above the surface of Mars is just spectacular."

"Seeing the sequence is a bit like standing on the Martian surface next to Perseverance and watching the flight firsthand," NASA said.

Those who don't have 3D glasses need not worry because NASA also shared a way to make a pair in just a few minutes. It's so simple that those with children may even use this as an opportunity to get kids involved and interested in the subject.

To make the glasses, one only needs the template provided by NASA, a poster board, red and cyan cellophane sheets, scissors and glue. After printing the template onto the poster board and cutting it out, the pieces of cellophane should be glued on the inside part of the glasses, with the red cellophane on the left eye side and the cyan on the right eye side.

As simple as that, one can enjoy a 3D view of the Ingenuity helicopter's flight and the many other 3D images of Mars from NASA.

Ingenuity as seen on Mars on April 7, 2021 in a photo taken by the rover Perseverance Ingenuity as seen on Mars on April 7, 2021 in a photo taken by the rover Perseverance Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS / Handout