NASA said that NASA’s Ingenuity micro helicopter only spent the first night on the cold Martian surface, calling this a “major milestone” for the micro spacecraft when it was preparing for its first flight.
After breaking away from the belly of the Persevering Rover who landed on the “Red Planet” on February 18, the ultralight aircraft fell to the ground on Saturday.
Without perseverance, Ingenuity must rely on its own solar cells to run important heaters to protect its unshielded electronic components from freezing and cracking during the painful Martian night, where the temperature may be as low as 130 degrees Fahrenheit (Celsius) Minus) 90 degrees Celsius).
NASA said in a statement on Monday that the cold night of Mars is “an important milestone for the small rotorcraft.”
MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said: “This is the first time Ingenuity has independently appeared on the surface of Mars.”
“But we have now confirmed that we have the right insulation material, the right heater and enough energy in the battery to withstand the cold night. This is a huge victory for the team. We are very happy to continue to be Ingenuity’s first A stage to prepare for the flight test.”
In the next few days, Ingenuity will test its rotor blades and electric motors.
If all goes well, Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Ingenuity is expected to conduct its first test flight on the evening of April 11.
This will be the first aircraft to attempt a power-controlled flight on another planet.
Tribute to the Wright brothers
Ingeniously used a small cloth to cover the wing of the Wright brothers’ first aircraft, which achieved its first powered flight in Kitty Hawk in 1903, paying tribute to this milestone.
Its attempt will also coincide with the 60th anniversary of the first human space flight by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, and the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first space shuttle Columbia on April 12, 1981.
The originality will try to fly in an atmosphere with a density of 1% of the earth’s density, which will make lifting more difficult-but gravity will help us reach one third of the earth.
The first flight will climb to an altitude of 10 feet (three meters) at a speed of about three feet (one meter) per second, hover there for 30 seconds, and then descend to the surface.
A clever plane takes off from the “airport” of the Jezero Crater and will take high-resolution photography.
A series of flights are planned for its mission, which will last 30 Martian sols (31 days for Earth Day).
Ingenuity Deputy Head of Operations Teddy Tzanetos said: “Our 30-sol test plan is full of exciting milestones.”
“Regardless of the future, we will obtain all flight data within this time frame.”
The development cost of this 4-lb (1.8 kg) rotorcraft is about 85 million U.S. dollars for NASA, and it is considered to be a proof of concept that can revolutionize space exploration.
Future aircraft may cover the ground faster than rovers and explore more rugged terrain.
NASA will attempt its first flight away from Earth in early April
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