NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory dispatchers (JPL) received a signal from the Ingenuity helicopter via the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
The signal made it clear that the helicopter weighing 2 kilograms and its base station are functioning normally, astronomers noted.
«Both seem to work great. With this positive report, we will move forward with helicopter battery charging »Tim Kenham, Helicopter Operations Manager for Ingenuity Mars, said Friday.
This start-up procedure will charge six Li-ion «rotorcraft batteries to about 30% of their planned capacity, and the data will be sent back to Earth to decide how to proceed in the future.
At the moment, JPL plans to recharge the batteries to 35% capacity in a few days, and then conduct weekly charging sessions to keep the helicopter warm on the cold Martian surface and get it ready for flight in a few months. The helicopter itself will remain attached to the rover for another 30-60 days.
«After Perseverance deploys Ingenuity on the surface, the helicopter will have a 30-day Martian experimental flight period, ”JPL said in a statement. Martian day or «sol ”is 24 hours 39 minutes compared to 24 hours of the Earth, and controllers operate in Martian time during the first 90 salts of the mission.
«If Ingenuity survives its first deafening Martian nights, when temperatures drop to minus 90 degrees Celsius, the team will begin its first flight in another world, ”added NASA.
«If Ingenuity manages to take off and hover on its maiden flight, more than 90 percent of the project’s goals will be met. If the rotorcraft successfully lands and remains operational, it will be possible to perform up to four additional flights, each of which will rely on the success of the latter, ”the scientists emphasized.
Ingenuity flights could be the beginning of a new generation of Mars exploration. Flying drones on Mars can scout ahead of rovers to plan better routes, or hover over dangerous terrain for scientific research.
Previously NV wrote that NASA has launched a photo booth on its website, which allows you to create your own picture from the Red Planet.
Photobooth is an image generator with preloaded templates. There you can choose a background – a rover, a command center, an Atlas rocket or, in fact, Mars – and add your photo (or a photo of the person you want to send there).
The Perseverance spacecraft has seven scientific instruments to study the surface of Mars in the area of the Ezero crater. It has several cameras for shooting and two microphones for recording sound. Perseverance is also equipped with a separate Ingenuity helicopter drone, which should help the rover identify new locations to explore.
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