NASA is making final preparations for the highly anticipated maiden flight of its Mars helicopter. When the propellants of Ingenuity start rotating and the shrinking contraceptive moves away from the surface, it will become the first aircraft to fly on another planet.
The space agency has revealed that it plans to launch Ingenuity on its first flight before 8 April. The helicopter is currently attached to the underbelly of NASA’s Persona Rover, which came to the Red Planet last month.
Perseverance recently tweeted that the first image shows Ingenuity safely stored in its underbelly. The helicopter appeared after disposing of its debris shield rover protecting Ingenuity from the heat and vibration of last month’s landing.
Away is a shield of debris, and here is our first look at the helicopter. It is located sideways, folded and locked in place, so before I can set it up, do some reverse origami. First, I would specify “helipad” on the drive a few days from here. pic.twitter.com/E9zZGQk5jQ
& mdash; NASA’s Persistence Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) March 21, 2021
Perseverance also tweeted a map of “Airfield”, where Ingenuity is set to make its first flight, which, if everything goes to plan, will mark a new milestone in space engineering.
I’m on my way to the “airspace” where # Marsh Chopper Will attempt its first test flight. I should get a couple more drives there.
Read more: https://t.co/FQvxp0XbBM pic.twitter.com/LKkFI9Mrho
& mdash; NASA’s Persistence Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) March 23, 2021
Below is a short video shot before being firmly launched in NASA’s lab, which shows exactly how the rover will free a 4-pound (1.8-kg) helicopter from its underbelly and take it before its first flight Will deploy on the surface of Mars.
The 314 million-mile journey all comes down to the final few inches. See how Mars’ helicopter delivery system will safely achieve Ingenuity on the surface of the Red Planet, where it will attempt the first experimentally operated flight over another world. https://t.co/TGGmQhSg4U pic.twitter.com/LAU5JMRDl1
& mdash; NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) June 23, 2020
Once the Ingenuity is on the ground, it will spin strongly to spin enough of its four one-meter-long carbon-fiber rotors to give the aircraft enough space that will remove it from the ground.
NASA plans to send ingenuity to a total of five flights, each one increasingly complex. The helicopter’s flight to the maiden will be a gentle hover test just a few meters from the ground, to ensure that everything is working the way it should. Later flights, on the other hand, could see Ingenuity travel distances of up to 300 meters.
NASA is keen to prove that Ingenuity’s technology can handle Mars’ super-thin atmosphere and extremely cold temperatures. It is hoped that the tests will pave the way for more advanced Mars helicopters that are able to fly closer to the surface of Mars, to seek out interesting research sites, and collect data for mapping routes for future Mars rovers To do also.
When NASA’s Sojourner rover landed on Mars in 1997, it proved that the red planet was rotating and we completely changed our perspective about the discovery of Mars. Similarly, we want to learn about the possible origins for the future of science research, ”said Lori Glaze, director of the planetary science division at NASA headquarters. “Named, Ingenuity is a technology demonstration intended to be the first powered flight on another world and, if successful, can expand our horizons and broaden the scope of what is possible with Mars exploration.”
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