Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-04-08 21:13:07 –
NASA announced this week that the Ingenuity helicopter will attempt its first test flight over Mars on Monday. The flight is scheduled for Sunday, but the results will not return to Earth until Monday.
Ingenuity landed at Perseverance Rover, which is beaming back HD images of Mars as part of the exploration of ancient life on Earth. Recently, NASA has deployed an Ingenuity protective case. Ingenuity will make five flights during April.
Flying a helicopter on Mars can be daunting given that Earth’s gravity is one-third, 1% of Earth’s atmosphere, and the temperature is very low. According to NASA, daytime temperatures can drop to minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit on Mars. Cold temperatures can cause equipment to crack if not properly shielded from the cold.
“Every step we have taken since this journey began six years ago has been an unknown territory in the history of the aircraft,” said Bob Bararam, chief engineer of JPL’s Mars helicopter. .. “And being deployed on the surface is a big challenge, but surviving that first night on Mars alone will be even bigger without the Rover protecting it and continuing to power it. . “
But if Ingenuity can get into orbit, it could be another feat for NASA and space exploration.
NASA plans to send it into the air at a height of 10 feet for 30 seconds on its first test flight. NASA wants to receive images and videos from the helicopter within hours of the test flight.