Despite flying helicopters on Mars being a new endeavor for NASA, excitement shines through as the agency prepares to test this new skill.I’m proud of the work we’ve done,” said the Ingenuity team leader. “Now, our propulsion rotorcraft will get a chance to make history in April by flying the Martian skies, but first the Perseverance rover had to drop it off on the ground. Caltech’s Ingenuity was perched under the belly of the Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center’s Perseverance rover, and the process of deploying it took nearly a week. But the experiment has been a success for all the researchers there.
#MarsHelicopter touchdown confirmed! Its 293 million mile (471 million km) journey aboard @NASAPersevere ended with the final drop of 4 inches (10 cm) from the rover's belly to the surface of Mars today. Next milestone? Survive the night. https://t.co/TNCdXWcKWE pic.twitter.com/XaBiSNebua
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 4, 2021
NASA announced the success of its “Mars Helicopter” on Saturday afternoon through a tweet on its official account. The new image showcases the simple design of Ingenuity’s miniature size and how it can rest on any counter.While on the surface of another planet, Ingenuity, the Mars rover, carefully rolls away to allow the helicopter’s solar panels to recharge its battery and keep it warm in the cold Martian conditions. The officials confirmed that the next milestone would be just to survive the whole night without having any problem in the aircraft and thus performing all the necessary actions.
As time goes on, the design of Ingenuity has become more and more clear. On March 31, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab shared a look at Ingenuity with all four legs reaching out. This sent the internet into meltdown.”The Mars helicopter has lowered its landing gear and is landing on the Maritan surface”. JPL tweeted.
It will take many years before the launch date,” the spokesperson said. “But when it’s fully ready, NASA Perseverance will release it gently to the surface.
We’re in the home stretch. The #MarsHelicopter has lowered all four legs and is in position to touch down on the Martian surface. Once it’s fully ready, @NASAPersevere will release it gently to the surface. https://t.co/TNCdXWcKWE pic.twitter.com/K3fqt2X2q3
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) March 31, 2021
The Ingenuity rotorcraft is one of the most advanced aircrafts in the world, with a revolutionary design. The aircraft is silent, efficient, and sustainable; an ideal vehicle for energy-conscious researchers.Perseverance, the Mars 2020 mission’s Sky Crane flight test article, has had its protective pan removed to reveal the Mars Helicopter tucked safely under the rover’s belly. The first look at the first flying machine on another planet ended with a smile and a handshake between the Robotics Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Philippe Godefroy (in grey shirt) and Perseverance Project Manager Matt Robinson of Lockheed Martin Space in Colorado.
It would kick off a series of operations involving driving the rover over to the designated “airfield” spot where it set Curiosity down on the surface before moving away and heading for an overlook.
Thanks to a clever engineering design that takes about 21 steps to unfold, the user must first open the box and remove two parts before a third piece can be lifted out. Then there’s the matter of rotating the machine into position and deploying the spring-loaded legs, none of which happens quickly. Overall, it’s not just a plain play toy – it has a step-by-step process that amplifies the fun.We will explain how this works later.
Inspired by the first airplane, the Wright Flyer, Ingenuity carries with it a special piece of history – a small fragment of the 1903 airplane’s fabric.Pray that this helicopter will help in traversing the Martian terrains and bring them good luck.