NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter cleared an initial barrier before the first attempt to propel and direct the flight of planes on other planets.
On Monday, the agency reported that the helicopter survived the first frigid night outside the Mars rover Perseverance on the rocky surface of the red planet.
Mysterious noise from the inside of Mars detected by NASA LANDER.
In the Jezero Crater, where Perseverance landed nearly two months ago, evening temperatures could drop as low as minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
At that temperature, unprotected electrical components may freeze or break, and solar powered batteries required for the planned test flight may be damaged in the process.
NASA announced last week that the first five historic flights – within the 30-Tuesday period, will be attempted by a four-pound helicopter no earlier than April 11.
While Ingenuity was initially charged by Perseverance, the autonomous rotor now relies on the sun for its energizing.
Unlike perseverance, ingenuity, there is no scientific instrument.
Perseverance, which has multiple cameras and microphones for photography and audio and video recording, will observe Ingenuity’s flight nature from “Van Zyl Overlook,” named after NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) consultant and colleagues. Jakob van Zyl, who passed away Unexpectedly in August 2020
In the meantime, Ingenuity will collect data on the effectiveness of the thermal and electrical control systems to ensure the vehicles can survive each night during the flight trial period.
On Wednesday, the bond that holds its propellers will be disengaged, and in the days to come it will involve more testing of the helicopter’s propellers and motors.
Additionally, the team at JPL will have to examine Ingenuity’s on-board computer, solar energy and six lithium-ion batteries, and the inertia unit: an electronic device that measures body orientation and angular rate.
The helicopter will then be ready to be lifted into a 33 x 33 foot “airport”.
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“This is the first time Ingenuity has appeared on the Martian surface,” MiMi Aung, JPL’s Ingenuity project manager, said at a launch Monday. “But now we have confirmed that we have proper insulation, proper heating and enough energy in the batteries to survive the cold night, which is a huge win for the team.”
“We are excited to prepare Ingenuity for the next first flight test,” she said.