NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Makes First-Ever Powered Flight on Another Planet

NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Makes First-Ever Powered Flight on Another Planet”

The robot rotorcraft was carried to the red planet strapped to the belly of NASA's Mars rover Perseverance, a mobile astrobiology lab that touched down on February 18 in Jezero Crater after a almost seven-month journey through space.

But why is it so hard to fly on Mars?

NASA HAS MADE history after successfully completing the first powered, controlled flight on another planet.

NASA is about to find out what happened. Eastern Time on Monday (0730 GMT Monday), data confirming its outcome is not expected to reach JPL's mission control until around 6:15 a.m. ET on Monday.

April has certainly become the month of Ingenuity on Mars.

While the images collected by the helicopter during its flights will not contribute to the main mission, they could help design more robust drones. On the live feed, mission controllers may even receive the first in-flight photos from the helicopter.

The first visual indication that the Ingenuity helicopter's test flight was a success came in the form of an altimeter data graph (pictured below), the plateau on the graph indicating the moments in which the aircraft was hovering above the red planet. The problem centered around a timing issue on a computing element on the helicopter.

Its hoped the helicopter will fly up about 3 metres for about 30 seconds on the red planet.

The successful flight of Ingenuity will also have implications for the drone revolution on Earth, said Dr Flannery, who has also worked on a number of projects designing robot and drone technologies for NASA.

This is because of the distance between Earth and Mars - it takes more than 11 minutes to get a radio signal back to Earth.

For the photography to work the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity will need to be perfectly synced in time!

More news: `Pakistan helped the Taliban, played on both sides in Afghanistan`: US senator

More than six years in the making, Ingenuity is a bare bones, 50-centimetres tall, spindly four-legged chopper.

These space drones could fly "over ravines, down canyons, up mountains", Josh Ravich, mechanical lead for the Ingenuity team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told Insider.

"Instead of a large rover carrying a small helicopter, imagine maybe a large helicopter carrying a small rover in the future", Ravich said.

"By its nature, it's going to have a little bit more risk than a normal mission", Ravich said. Throw in the extreme cold and a lengthy radio delay, and you've got a lot that can go wrong.

You won't be able to watch the flight in real time - NASA can't livestream from another planet - but video of and from the flight will likely become available soon afterward. An unexpectedly strong wind gust is one potential peril that could spoil the flight. With an atmosphere just one per cent the thickness of Earth's, engineers had to build a helicopter light enough - with blades spinning fast enough - to generate this otherworldy lift.

The planned flight was delayed for a week by a technical glitch during a test spin of the aircraft's rotors on April 9.

The first flight looked like this: the rotor blades spun at 2,537 rotations per minute (rpm).

This could be the first of 5 flights © NASA/JPL-Caltech NASA's Ingenuity helicopter, photographed on Mars by the Perseverance rover on April 4.

NASA chose a flat, relatively rock-free patch for Ingenuity's airfield, measuring 33 feet by 33 feet (10 meters by 10 meters).

This post has been updated with new information.

Like this



19 April 2021
Alexei Navalny aides call for protests to save his life
In such a condition, Ashikhmin wrote on Facebook , a patient would normally be moved to an intensive care unit. The bloc's foreign ministers will discuss the situation at a meeting on Monday, it said in a statement .

18 April 2021
Celebrities pen open plea to Putin for Navalny's health care
This may have exacerbated his condition, doctors said, as they asked prison officials to grant them immediate access. She said he should be moved into an intensive care station, adding "fatal arrhythmia can develop any minute".

18 April 2021
Czech police announce manhunt for two Russian nationals matching Skripal-poisoners’ description
Czech police are looking for suspects using the identities Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov in connection with the explosion. Czech authorities today accused the men of causing an explosion on October 16, 2014 at a warehouse with 58 tonnes of ammunition.

18 April 2021
Pfizer envisions a COVID-19 booster shot 12 months after getting vaccinated
So in March, scientists began testing a dose of this vaccine as a third dose given after two doses of the original shot. Le Goff, PharmD, Moderna's chief commercial officer, said during a call with investors, Business Insider reported.

17 April 2021
Funeral of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh
Inside the chapel, all members of the congregation will wear a face covering, as dictated by public health rules. That includes the transporting of his body to the chapel in a modified Land Rover Defender he designed himself.

17 April 2021
Biden meets with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga
Mr Suga and Mr Biden are also expected to discuss regional security including North Korea, China and China-Taiwan issues. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has become the first foreign leader to hold face-to-face talks with U.S.

17 April 2021
Biden keeps US refugee cap at 15 000 rather than raise it
But migrants at the border seeking asylum are processed in an entirely separate system than refugees fleeing persecution overseas. But this needn't be so complicated: Biden ought to just make good on his campaign promise by raising the cap significantly.

16 April 2021
Chauvin skips testifying as trial in Floyd death nears end
Fowler claimed Floyd died from a combination of heart disease, drug use and tailpipe emissions from a police cruiser. That contradicted prosecution experts who said Floyd succumbed to a lack of oxygen from the way he was pinned down.

16 April 2021
Finland Offers To Host Putin-Biden Summit: President's Office
The sanctions are hostile steps that heighten the countries' confrontation, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said. The Biden administration actions against alleged Russian activity come at a tense time in bilateral relations.

16 April 2021
Police officer who shot Daunte Wright arrested
Experts say cases of officers mistakenly firing their gun instead of a Taser are rare , usually less than once a year nationwide. Noor was convicted of third-degree murder in addition to second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison.