This story is part of , our series exploring the red planet.
The last thing any planet wants to see is the Death Star from Star Wars hovering nearby. Mars can breathe a sigh of relief knowing Darth Vader’s planet-destroying space ride hasn’t appeared near its surface.
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted a “postcard from a Martian helicopter” on Friday as a reminder that raw images from the Ingenuity rotorcraft on Mars can be viewed and downloaded from the space agency.
The image JPL shared shows an expansive, rocky and rippled landscape seen from the air. To the far left is a dark round object that appears against the sky. A Twitter user named B.R. responded with an amusing question: “Is that Death Star on the left?”
JPL came back with a deadpan response: “No Death Star there. It’s actually Ingenuity’s foot.”
Ingenuity captured the shot on May 23 with its high-resolution color camera. The positioning of the foot, plus its shape and dark color, made it a perfect doppelganger for the menacing Star Wars spacecraft.
This wouldn’t be the first Star Wars-related lookalike out in space. Saturn’s moon Mimas is known as the “,” and a UFO fan once spotted a .
Space images from NASA and beyond make Star Wars feel totally real
Ingenuity has made history on Mars since arriving with the Perseverance rover earlier this year. The small rotorcraft has completed six flights and. It could take to the air again after its team works through the tech issue.
In the meantime, we can flip through Ingenuity’s photo journal,and enjoy the it made during flight. And at least NASA doesn’t need to figure out how to send a TIE fighter to Mars.
Follow CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to stay up to date with all the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your own Google Calendar.