NASA’s Roving Probe shot down a small Ingenuity helicopter on Mars and walked away from the device. This is evidenced by the first images taken by the rover of the aircraft, which are now extremely lonely. The last stage of preparations for the helicopter before the start of the first historic flight over the Red Planet. The helicopter, which has largely been left to its own devices, must first survive at night, as temperatures can drop as low as -90 ° C. Then it recharges its batteries independently.
So far, Ingenuity has been connected with perseverance and just couldn’t charge its batteries via that connection, But it was also heated to 7 ° C. Ingenuity’s solar panels aren’t providing enough power for this, and now it is assumed that the temperature of the helicopter will reach -5 ° C every morning. In the coming days, engineers want to check exactly how well the solar panels are working and whether the batteries are charging as planned. Then the rotors must be extended and all motors and sensors tested. The first flight is supposed to take place on April 11 at the earliest.
Test subject on Mars
Creativity is not part of the main perseverance mission, but rather a kind of showcase of technology. The helicopter is supposed to be the first man-made object to fly over another planet and prove that this is possible. He’s supposed to take photos from several meters high that show the surface of persistence and its surroundings from a fresh perspective. On its first flight, it should rise a few meters and hover over the takeoff site before landing again. If this works, more flights can be tracked. In total, officials are now giving the plane 30 sols (31 Earth days). After that, perseverance must devote itself to its central mission and must seek out the possible implications of a past life. He will leave creativity behind.
Perseverance landed on Mars on February 18th. The maneuver was more of a challenge to engineers than it had been in the previous Curiosity, but it passed without any problems. A video clip released by NASA a few days later is the first ever recording of a landing on another planet and shows it in amazing quality. The rover long ago left the approved Octavia E-Butler Landing site and has now traveled more than 190 meters. Now he will watch the creativity try to fly before it travels to its actual destination, likely a dry riverbed.