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Home / Science / NASA’s original helicopter flight to Mars was postponed, and the team discussed technology on the red planet

NASA’s original helicopter flight to Mars was postponed, and the team discussed technology on the red planet



The first flight of NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity has been postponed to April 11 to allow more time for the team and aircraft to prepare. Originally scheduled to fly on April 8, NASA postponed the flight of the first and only Mars helicopter. The ingenious team returned to the earth to describe the energy story of the helicopter. The extra time is only a question of caution, because the team is “very cautious” at every step of the process.The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is dedicated to the creativity of helicopters, photo source: NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is dedicated to the creativity of helicopters, photo source: NASA

According to NASA, the helicopter weighs about 4 pounds and has a wingspan of 1.2 meters. It is powered by a battery, which is charged by a solar panel on its top. When fully charged, the helicopter can fly for about 90 seconds. It must then land safely and recharge its batteries enough to power the ship’s heaters, as this protects the helicopter from the cold nights of the Red Planet.

Qiaojiang’s flight on Mars is delayed

The extra three days give the Ingenuity team more time to better understand the status of the power cycle and, more importantly, to ensure that its energy is positive in all steps of the entire process. The helicopter’s first flight will be carried out with a full charge, and it will only fly a few meters upwards in the first flight before returning to the surface of Mars. According to NASA, its height will not exceed about 15 feet.

“The next step (first flight) is very important,” said Tim Canham, head of Mars helicopter operations, at the Ingenuity Q&A event today. “Can it rise, circle and land safely?” This will be an important moment for the helicopter team to win.”

The sights and sounds of Mars from NASA’s Persevering Rover

The time is currently set for April 11, although an official time has not yet been announced. However, the flight will not be broadcast live. Until the flight telemetry information is regained, people who return to Earth will not see any flight information, which will take a few seconds of sol (ie, Martian day), which is about 40 minutes longer than the sky on Earth. NASA said that the Perseverance rover (the rover that recently landed on Mars and brought Ingenuity to Earth with it) will monitor the flight about 65 meters away. It will take pictures that will eventually enter the earth, but this may also take some time.

Why is NA​​SA’s Ingenuity flight so important

The reason the first flight became a NASA milestone was that it was powered entirely by pre-programmed sequences, not just the first flight of a helicopter on Mars. There are no joysticks and no remote control helicopters.

The gritty operations engineer Elio Morillo said in the NASA Q&A session: “The (flight) sequences are pre-built by the team on the ground.” “These sequences have been tested for many years. But it’s pre-canned. We don’t have real-time control of the helicopter. It’s completely autonomous.”This has brought many challenges to the Ingenuity team. What if there is a Martian gust during the flight? The helicopter has sensors that can detect wind gusts and correct its heading accordingly. However, in most cases, pre-built flight procedures have been repeatedly tested in a cabin that simulates the “tact” experience on Mars.

Perseverance will watch Ingenuity’s first flight about 65 meters away from the Van Zyl Overlook helicopter. It will take images, and the team is currently determining whether the rover can record sounds. It has a directional microphone, but due to the distance, the team is not sure if it can pick up sound from the helicopter.

Farah Alibay, the persevering head of integration, said that it is important to remember that the Martian atmosphere (with a density difference of 1% from the Earth’s atmosphere) is completely different from our planet, and therefore the way sound travels on the earth is different.List of NASA's original milestones, photo source: NASA

List of NASA milestones in creativity, photo source: NASA

After the first flight, perseverance and originality will separate. The ingenuity will begin to recharge and prepare for the next flight, and Perseverance will return to its original mission: collect Mars samples to send back to Earth on the next mission. However, the two vehicles will still communicate via radio. The basic team will talk to Perseverance, and Perseverance will convey the message to originality. The helicopter will respond to Perseverance, and the rover will deliver the message to the earth.

Master’s main mission on Mars

As far as greater creativity is concerned, its mission is to serve as a technological demonstration.

Kanham said: “Intelligence is a test tool for Mars.” “Super detailed logs will be needed…500 times per second… (for us) to understand what happened and describe the flight on Mars. The characteristics of Mars. The Mars Pathfinder and Sojourner are an appropriate metaphor-try something that has never been done before, and then learn a lot of lessons from it… for future engineers and scientists to build bigger and better helicopters for Mars.”

While waiting for Ingenuity’s first flight on Mars next week, check out the story about Perseverance’s successful landing on Mars in February, and then check out the video of this rover’s landing. After reading this story, get information about the initial sights and sounds captured by Perseverance, and then check the story about the hidden information on the rover’s parachute.

Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer, guide producer and scientific expert at IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.




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