NASA The intelligence of the Mars helicopter Aviation history has just been made, and the robot companions capture everything in the video.
Early in the morning of today (April 19), intelligence has been First flight powered on an out-of-the-world worldAt 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms), the chopper rises 10 feet (3 meters) above the ground, the Jezero Crater sits 39 seconds high in the thin air of Mars and descends to find a landing spot at its takeoff.
And we have high-resolution documentation of the Wright brothers’ times in this other world, thanks to NASA data. Persistence roverWhich records a flight from a distance of 230 ft (70 m) using the powerful Mastcam-Z camera system.
“Fly beautiful!”; MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager, said today during a press conference detailing the key flight and the release of Perseverance’s video.
“I don’t think I can stop watching it over and over again,” added Aung, who is based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California.
Video: Take a look at Ingenuity’s first flight on Mars.
Helicopters on mars
Intelligence comes with persistence. Inside the Jezero on Feb. 18 and removed from the rover’s belly earlier this month. The solar-powered rotorcraft has two cameras. But there are no scientific instruments It is a technology demonstration designed to show that propulsion flight is possible on Mars, which has only 1% of the Earth’s thickness at sea level.
The main task of perseverance is to hunt for traces of ancient. Life on mars And collects and caches samples for future return to the world. But the rover won’t start working in earnest until Ingenuity’s one-month-long flight campaign is over.The effort is saving that campaign and contributing in significant ways. For example, all communications to and from the solar choppers are transmitted through the rover.
Related: Arnold Schwarzenegger told NASA to ‘Get to the choppa!’
Aung and her colleagues plan to make four more flights in the two weeks they leave the campaign, with an tentative set for Thursday (April 19) (the clock starts when Ingenuity takes the lead). Came to use from Perseverance, and the first flight of the helicopter was delayed by about a week while the team Working to fix software problems.)
Those flights will become more and more complex and ambitious, with Ingenuity flying higher, farther and faster over time.
“This is a forerunner,” Aung said. “We really want to know what the limits are, so we will push them intently.”
She said she wanted Ingenuity to travel about 2,000 feet (600 meters) down on the fifth and final flight if the helicopter performed well in two to four. It is not clear where Ingenuity will go on the final flight. But it is possible that long-haul flights would help plan Perseverance’s travel itinerary, Aung said she was agnostic about flight direction and would ask the rover team if they had a need.
Related: How NASA’s Mars Helicopters Can Fly on the Red Planet
The future of extraterrestrial aviation
Such a reconnaissance job, if real, would be a bridge to a future that Ingenuity helped unlock – a future where aerial exploration is commonplace and helicopters undertake a number of critical missions on the Red Planet.
“What the Ingenuity team did gives us a third dimension,” JPL Director Mike Watkins said during today’s press conference.
“They free us from the surface forever in planetary exploration, so now we can mix between surface driving and surface sampling, and do reconnaissance and even scientific experiments in places where we are going.” Not accessible for the rover, “he added.” And I think this is how we build the future. “
Mike Wall is the author of “Out there(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; Illustration by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life.Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.