After over a year spending all of its time being attached on its mother rover “Perseverance”, Now Ingenuity helicopter has landed on the surface of Mars. After its first flight in coming days, Mars’ Ingenuity helicopter will become the first powered to ever fly in another planet.
Perseverance and Ingenuity
On July 2020, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory launched its rover Perseverance, for its 7 month long journey all the way to the red planet. It landed on Mars on February 2021.
Having technological advancements of over a decade as compared to curiosity rover, Perseverance rover isn’t just a slight improvement over curiosity , but has numerous more gadgets as compared to its predecessor.
Ingenuity is a helicopter that is designed by JPL and weighs just 1.8 Kg. If it successfully flies, then it would become the first powered human controlled helicopter ever went to another planet. That would be such a profound and essential step for the human’s exploration of space.
Mars only has 38 percent of the gravity yet making it lightweight was essential, which they succeeded in doing. And Due to the very thin atmosphere of Mars, scientists had to develop ingenuity in a way that it would be able to move its two blades very fast
This Mars helicopter has a speed of 2900 RPM or 40 spins per second, which is 5 times faster than the average earth’s helicopter and is designed to fly for 90 seconds at a time.
The Purpose of Ingenuity is to attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. It will make a history if it succeeds.
There are 4 goals of Perseverance Rover:
- Determine whether life ever existed on Mars
- Characterize the Climate of Mars
- Characterize the Geology of Mars
- Prepare for Human Exploration
Updates | Helicopter is now on Mars surface !
Ingenuity is now on surface of the Mars, after being deployed by the rover with a drop of 10 cm. Now its next objective is to survive the night. NASA scientists will anxiously wait for the helicopter’s status in the morning and hope it’s all good.
#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
As it’s not attached to its Rover any more, so this helicopter is totally on its own.
“That’s a good thing, because Ingenuity has to run its own heater from its own battery after the drop. No more free power from the rover!” wrote Bob Balaram, the helicopter’s chief engineer at JPL.
If survives the night, Ingenuity will attempt to fly at no earlier than 11th April, and data about its flight would be available the next day.