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NASA’s tiny Ingenuity helicopter survived the first night alone on the frigid surface of Mars, the US space agency said, hailing it as a “human”. A “milestone” for the small craft while preparing to fly for the first time.
The ultra-light plane was dropped to the surface Saturday after being discharged from the belly of the Perseverance rover, which touched down on the red planet on February 18.
The ingenuity relies on its own solar battery to use critical heaters to protect unprotected electrical components from freezing and cracking on a bitter Tuesday night, where temperatures can drop as low as 130 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 90 degrees Celsius).
Making it through a cold Tuesday night was “A major achievement for light vehicles,” NASA said in a statement on Monday.
“This is the first time that Ingenuity has spontaneously spawned on the surface of Mars,” said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity program manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“But now we have confirmed that we have the right insulation, proper heating and enough power in the batteries to survive a very cold night, which is a huge win for the team.” We are excited to continue preparing our intelligence for the first time Flight test “
In the coming days, Ingenuity will be testing propellers and motors.
If all goes well, Ingenuity expects to take its first flight no earlier than the evening of April 11, the Jet Propulsion lab said.
It will be the first aircraft to attempt to propel and control flight on other planets.
– Tribute to the Wright Brothers –
Wisdom holds a small cloth covering the Wright brothers’ first wing, which achieved the world’s first flight at the Kitty Hawk in 1903 as an homage to the milestone.
The effort will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the first human space flight by Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961 and the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first space shuttle on the 12th. April 1981 Colombia
The brilliance will attempt to fly in the atmosphere with the Earth’s 1 percent density, which makes it harder to lift. But it will be aided by gravity that is one third of our planet.
The first flight will involve climbing at a rate of approximately three feet (one meter) per second to a height of 10 feet (three meters), flying there for 30 seconds and then descending back to the surface.
The ingenuity will take high resolution images while flying from “the airport” in Jesero’s crater.
Several flights are planned for missions lasting 30 Mars (31 Earth days).
“Our 30 Seoul test schedule is full of exciting milestones,” said Teddy Tzanetos, Deputy Head of Intelligence Operations.
“Regardless of the future, we will get all the flight information we can within that time frame.”
The 4 pound (1.8 kg) rotorcraft spent approximately $ 85 million in NASA development budgets and is a proof of concept that could revolutionize space exploration.
Future planes can cover ground faster than rover and explore more rugged terrain.
© 2021 AFP