In early April, a miniature helicopter that rode shotgun with NASA‘s Perseverance rover would undertake its first flight on Mars, showcasing technologies that can be used on potential missions. NASA officials presented preparations for the first flights of the Ingenuity, which […]
In early April, a miniature helicopter that rode shotgun with NASA‘s Perseverance rover would undertake its first flight on Mars, showcasing technologies that can be used on potential missions. NASA officials presented preparations for the first flights of the Ingenuity, which is a 1.8-kilogram helicopter now connected to the underside of Perseverance, at a conference on March 23. On March 21, spaceship controllers began the phase of launching Ingenuity by cutting a protective cover that had been shielding the vehicle throughout its launch.
Perseverance is currently driving to an “airfield,” which is a 10 by 10-meter flat place. The spaceship would conduct a sequence of launches over ten days to unravel Ingenuity and dump it on the earth. Farah Alibay, who is a Perseverance integration guide for Ingenuity at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, defined the procedure as “very controlled and thorough,” requiring the separation of a series of attachments, all of which were filmed utilizing cameras on the rover.
The rover will drive forward, and Ingenuity’s solar panel would charge the rover’s battery, enabling it to take its first trip. “There’s something extraordinary about the first trip. Havard Grip, who is the Ingenuity’s chief pilot, said, “It is by far the most critical flight we want to do.” “It’ll be an aircraft’s first controlled flight on another planet.”
Ingenuity will take off and ascend to a height of three meters on that trip, which is tentatively planned for April 8. It would then land after hovering in position for 30 seconds while spinning. The flight was called a “Wright Brothers moment” by project officials, who included a sample of fabric from the initial Wright Brothers’ Flyer on the Ingenuity, the scale of a postage stamp, to illustrate the connection.
If the first flight is good, the venture will try up to four more flights of increasing length during the next month. Ingenuity will travel for close to 90 seconds at a time, hitting altitudes of around five meters and traveling a path of close to 50 meters downrange as well as back.
Ingenuity was put to the test on the planet, including flight testing in vacuum chambers to mimic Martian atmospheric environments, but project officials admitted they couldn’t test anything. “The greatest obstacle will be traveling in the Mars’ atmosphere, that has its own dynamics, waves, wind gusts, and so on,” stated Ingenuity chief engineer J. (Bob) Balaram. “Nothing compares to really being on Mars in its natural environment.”
The $85 million Ingenuity project is purely a technology showcase. There are no intentions to continue the project past the 31 days allotted for operations, even though the helicopter completes its sequence of flights flawlessly. Perseverance, which will watch the flights from a reasonable distance, will be able to continue on its primary scientific objective as a result.https://newsinpaphos.com/