NASA’s Perseverance Is Looking For a Flight Zone to Drop Off Ingenuity. Here are 5 Things to Know About NASA’s Mars Helicopter

NASA’s Perseverance rover made a new statement on Twitter announcing that she is looking for a place to drop off the Mars Helicopter Ingenuity, if the area gets certified as a flight zone. Percy also send a photo where you can see a wheel tracks, saying that made another 230 feet (70 meters) on surface of the Red Planet. You can check the current position of the Rover HERE

Here are 5 Things to Know About NASA’s Mars Helicopter

It’s an experimental flight test.

Ingenuity Mars helicopter seeks to test flight capability for the first time, with limited scope. It is a companion to the Mars 2020 Perseverance mission and does not carry scientific equipment. The mission’s aim is to demonstrate rotorcraft flight in Mars’ extremely thin atmosphere.

First powered, controlled flight on another planet.

The helicopter will try the first powered, controlled flight on another world, which will be a challenging feat. The Martian atmosphere is 99 times less dense than Earth’s, making it very difficult for vehicles to achieve sufficient lift. But one of the first objectives of the helicopter is just to survive the frigid Martian night for the first time, given the nights at the Red planet are as cold as minus 90 degrees Celsius.

Dependent on Perseverance rover.

Perseverance’s helicopter delivery system would shed the landing cover, rotate the helicopter to a legs-down configuration, and softly drop it on the surface in the first few months of its landing after locating an appropriate place to deploy Ingenuity. The rover will continue to assist in communications between Earth and the helicopter during its commissioning and flight test campaign.

Ambitious aerial dimension.

While it took centuries and a lot of trial and error to figure out how to fly planes and helicopters on Earth, engineers on the Ingenuity team were able to demonstrate the same in over six years in special space simulation chambers. They demonstrated that it was possible to build a vehicle that could generate enough lift in an extremely thin Martian atmosphere and operate and survive autonomously. Successful flights of Ingenuity could provide an ambitious aerial dimension to future Mars exploration.

A long list of milestones.

Now that the helicopter has survived the cruise to Mars and landing on the Red Planet, the next milestone will be the safe deployment to the surface from the belly of the Perseverance rover. The other objectives it needs to fulfill before it can take off and land in the spring of 2021 include autonomously keeping warm through the intensely cold Martian nights and charging itself with its solar panel. Successful communication to and from the helicopter via the base station on the rover is also a prerequisite.

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