NASA to Try 1st powered helicopter flight on Mars

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NASA’s effort to launch the first powered, controlled flight on another planet set for this weekend was delayed for a few days.

The 4-pound helicopter, also named Ingenuity, will try to grow 10 feet to the fragile Martian atmosphere on its first hop. As many as five progressively higher and more flights are planned over a month.

The area agency is targeting some time beginning April 14, according to officials. The launch was planned for Sunday night. However, difficulties came up through a high-speed rotor spin test.

Once it happens, it is going to mark a”Wright brothers’ moment,” mentioned Bobby Braun, director for planetary science at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Ingenuity hitched a trip into the red planet using all the Perseverance rover, coming in February.

The helicopter airfield is proper alongside the rover’s landing site in Jezero Crater. The rover will notice that the test flights from a distant perch before driving to pursue its mission: searching for signs of ancient Martian life.

Designers had to figure out how to maintain the helicopter light enough to go to Mars but sturdy sufficient to endure the requirements there. Among those attributes includes Styrofoam within the blades. Ingenuity will receive data teaching it to fly from Mission Control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Flying on Mars is not easy: the air is thin (roughly 1 % the density of Earth’s atmosphere). Ingenuity must spin its blades much quicker than at Earth to get sufficient lift and be very light (about 4 pounds or 1.8 kg).

In honour of another historical flight, Ingenuity is taking a piece of the first Wright Brothers plane.

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