NASA’s ingenious Mars helicopter cleared the initial obstacles before it first attempted a powered and controlled flight on another planet.
On Monday, the agency reported that the helicopter spent the first cold night outside the Perseverance Mars rover atop the rocky surface of the red planet.
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In the Jezero Crater (Jezero Crater) where persistent perseverance landed two months ago, the temperature in the evening may be as low as 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
At this temperature, unprotected electrical components may freeze or crack, and the solar cells required for the planned test flight may be damaged in the process.
NASA announced last week that it will attempt to use a 4-pound helicopter for the first flight of up to 5 historical flights before April 11-within the 30-day time limit of Mars.
When Ingenuity initially collected fees from Perseverance, the autonomous rotorcraft will now rely on the sun to start.
Unlike Perseverance, originality does not contain any scientific tools.
The perseverance with multiple cameras and microphones for imaging and audio and video shooting will observe the flight characteristics of Ingenuity through the “Van Zyl Overlook”. “Van Zyl Overlook” was named after long-time NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) mentor and colleague Jakob van Zyl unexpectedly in August 2020.
Prior to this, Ingenuity will collect data on its thermal control and power system performance to ensure that the vehicle can survive every night during the flight test.
On Wednesday, restrictions on protecting its rotor blades will be relaxed, and the next few days will include more tests on blades and helicopter motors.
In addition, the JPL team will have to monitor Ingenuity’s on-board computer, solar array power supply, and six lithium-ion batteries and their inertial measurement unit: an electronic device that measures the direction and angular velocity of the human body.
The helicopter will then be ready to take off from its 33 x 33-foot “airport”.
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JPL’s Ingenuity project manager MiMi Aung said in a press release on Monday: “This is the first independent appearance of Ingenuity on Mars.” “But we have now confirmed that we have the right insulation materials, suitable heaters, and enough batteries. Energy can withstand the cold night, which is a huge victory for the team.”
She said: “We are very happy to continue to prepare for Ingenuity’s first flight test.”