Thursday, May 19, 2022

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter is on its own on the surface of Mars until its take-off date

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Space has always been a dream of humanity, and many tech giants are now eyeing to study more about the planet Mars to colonise it. Though making a man live on the neighbouring planet is still a far-fetched dream, we do have some robots (rovers) planting their wheels on the planet’s surface.

According to recent sources, NASA’s Perseverance rover has dropped off the mini helicopter Ingenuity ahead of the four-pound aircraft’s historic first flight. Reports indicate that the aircraft was dropped four inches from the belly of Perseverance to the surface of Mars.

Well, in terms of length, 4-inch is pretty small, however, getting Ingenuity to successfully stick the landing is still a significant milestone. The aircraft had to go through a multi-day process of flipping from a horizontal position on the rover to a vertical position before it was set down.

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According to Ingenuity’s Chief Engineer, Bob Balaram, the Ingenuity can still draw power from the sun using its solar panels. Still, its heater has to keep the helicopter warm through the cold nights on Mars, where temperatures can go as low as negative 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

NASA has a pre-planned take-off date set for the helicopter, and it’s on April 11th. Until then, the Ingenuity has to survive the harsh conditions of the foreign planet. NASA outlined the helicopter’s flight zone; the plan is for Ingenuity to attempt as many as five test flights within 30 days before settling down on the surface of Mars for eternity.

Let’s hope that the small guy can survive through the harshness of the planet and do what only Matt Damon could do. Survive the Mars.

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Nivedita Bangari
Nivedita Bangari
I am a software engineer by profession and technology is my love, learning and playing with new technologies is my passion.

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