Over the next couple of days, the Ingenuity team will check if the helicopter’s solar panels are working properly.
NASA’s Ingenuity mini-helicopter has been dropped on the floor of Mars in preparation for its first flight, the US house company mentioned.
The ultra-light plane had been mounted to the stomach of the Perseverance rover, which touched down on the Red Planet on February 18.
“#MarsHelicopter touchdown confirmed!” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted Saturday.
#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
“Its 293 million mile (471 million kilometre) journey aboard @NASAPersevere ended with the final drop of 4 inches (10 centimetre) from the rover’s belly to the surface of Mars today. Next milestone? Survive the night.”
A photograph accompanying the tweet showed Perseverance had driven clear of the helicopter and its “airfield” after dropping to the surface.
Ingenuity had been feeding off the Perseverance’s energy system however will now have to make use of its personal battery to run an important heater to guard its unshielded electrical parts from freezing and cracking in the course of the bitter Martian evening.
“This heater keeps the interior at about 45 degrees F (7 degrees Celsius) through the bitter cold of the Martian night, where temperatures can drop to as low as -130F (-90 degrees Celsius),” Bob Balaram, Mars Helicopter Project chief engineer on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, wrote in an replace on Friday.
“That comfortably protects key components such as the battery and some of the sensitive electronics from harm at very cold temperatures.”
Over the subsequent couple of days, the Ingenuity group will examine that the helicopter’s photo voltaic panels are working correctly and recharging its battery earlier than testing its motors and sensors forward of its first flight, Balaram mentioned.
Ingenuity is anticipated to make its first flight attempt no sooner than April 11, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted.
Ingenuity shall be trying to fly in an environment that’s one % the density of Earth’s, which makes reaching raise tougher – however shall be assisted by gravity that’s one-third of our planet’s.
The first flight will contain climbing at a price of about three ft (one metre) per second to a top of 10 ft (three metres), hovering there for 30 seconds, then descending again to the floor.
Ingenuity shall be taking high-resolution pictures because it flies.
Up to 5 flights of gradual issue are deliberate over the month.
The four-pound (1.8-kilogram) rotorcraft cost NASA around $85 million (roughly Rs. 620 crore) to develop and is considered a proof of concept that could revolutionise space exploration.
Future aircraft could cover ground much quicker than rovers, and explore more rugged terrain.