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Star Wars Death Star lookalike appears on NASA’s Mars helicopter image

Look to the far left of this NASA Ingenuity Mars helicopter image.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

This story is part of Welcome to Mars, our series exploring the red planet.

The last thing any planet wants to see is Death Star from Star Wars hovering nearby. Mars can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Darth Vader̵

7;s planet-destroying spaceflight has not appeared near the surface.

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted a “postcard from a Mars helicopter” on Friday as a reminder that raw images from Ingenuity Rotorcraft on Mars can be viewed and downloaded from the space agency.

The image JPL shared shows an expansive, rocky and rippling landscape seen from the air. Far to the left is a dark round object that appears in the sky. A Twitter user named BR answered with a funny question: “Is it Death Star on the left?”

JPL came back with a dead water response: “No death star there. It is actually the foot of the Invention.”

Ingenuity captured the shot on May 23 with its high-resolution color camera. The location of the foot, plus its shape and dark color, made it a perfect double for the menacing Star Wars spacecraft.

This would not be the first Star Wars-related lookalike into space. Saturn’s moon Mimas is known as “Death Star Moon, “and a UFO fan once discovered Jabba the Hutt-like rock on Mars.

Ingenuity has made history on Mars since arriving with the Perseverance rover earlier this year. The small rotorcraft has completed six flights and survived a harrowing technical error during his sixth effort. It can catch the air again after the team has worked through the technology problem.

In the meantime, we can browse Ingenuity’s photo journal, see the plane in 3D and enjoy gentle whirring sounds it was made during the flight. And at least NASA does not have to figure out how to send a TIE fighter to Mars.

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