Floating Nasa probe reveals photo of Mars surface with BIG secret – can you spot it?

NASA'S Mars orbiter has captured a stunning scene of the Red Planet – but that's not all.

Hidden in the photo are two very important objects.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched back in 2005, and reached its destination in 2006.

Since then, it's been circling overhead snapping photos of Mars.

And from a distance of 180 miles above the surface, it's managed to picture two of Nasa's own creations.

The first looks like a tiny speck – but it's actually a helicopter.

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That might sound farfetched, but this is Nasa's Ingenuity drone, which has completed nearly two-dozen flights on the Red Planet.

And the second object – a little bigger this time – is Nasa's Perseverance rover.

The MRO image was analysed by the Nasa HiRISE imaging program team at the University of Arizona.

"The 3 by 2.7 meter (10 feet by 9 feet) sized rover is sitting on the fractured bedrock of what mission scientists are calling the Máaz Formation, thought to be of igneous (volcanic) origin,"said Dr Matthew Chojnacki, of the Planetary Science Institute, in a post for the UoA.

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"The primary science target is the deltaic deposit thought to have formed billions of years ago from sediment that an ancient river once carried, is still several kilometers to the north.

"HiRISE is likely to image Perseverance again during its long traverse."

The image also captures the Ingenuity helicopter 200 metres to the west.

It's completed an impressive 23 flights since first going airborne in April last year.

Ingenuity is a proof-of-concept vehicle that will pave the way for future Martian probes.

Scientists hope to use drone-like craft to explore hard to reach places such as tunnels and caves, where it's believed life may have once lurked.

The trip will help Nasa reap invaluable data about the conditions on Mars – which is 173million miles from Earth.

Ingenuity's first flight was delayed after a software issue emerged during a high-speed test of the 4lb helicopter's rotors.

The agency had to rewrite the drone's code and reupload it by relaying with a spacecraft orbiting the Red Planet.

Prior to lift-off, Nasa had called the unprecedented helicopter operation "highly risky" as the air on Mars is so thin – less than one per cent of the pressure of Earth's atmosphere.

Ingenuity arrived on Mars attached to the underside of the Perseverance rover, which touched down on February 18.

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The rover will characterise the planet's geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of Mars.

It will also be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).

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