The NASA Innovation helicopter is already on Earth on Mars and preparing for its maiden flight

Ingenious small helicopter above the surface of Mars (NASA / Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Innovative NASA miniature helicopter, Which arrived in February on the surface of Mars connected to the underside of the Perseverance spacecraft, It just separated from the car and is already on the surface of the red planet, The US Space Agency announced.

“Confirmed Mars helicopter landing!”The NASA laboratory in charge of the mission tweeted Saturday evening.

This helicopter Micro Lite, Similar to a large drone, it reached folded and moored underneath Determination, Which landed on Mars on February 18th, where It stayed until the rover arrived at the place where the journey should take place.

Its 293 million miles (471 million km) flight ended with this tiny 4-inch (10 cm) jump from the belly of the probe to the surface of Mars today. The Next Challenge: Survive The lab tweeted.

The photo accompanying the tweet showed a file Persevere to get away from the helicopter. You should leave the horizon completely clear in less than 25 hours, because the helicopter needs the sun to power the solar panels and survive by heating during the icy Mars nights.

until this moment, Ingenuity Which means in English “cleverness“, It was relying on rover power, but from now on it has to stand on its own.

Innovation after deployment under the Perseverance Rover (NASA / JPL-CALTECH / AFP)
Innovation after deployment under the Perseverance Rover (NASA / JPL-CALTECH / AFP)

“There is a small cooler that allows you to keep indoors at about 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) in the bitter cold of Mars night, where temperatures can drop as low as -130 degrees Fahrenheit (-90 degrees Celsius),” explain Bob BallaramChief Engineer of the Mars Helicopter Project.

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This allows the main components to be protected. From the device, he added.

An illustration provided by NASA on Monday showing what a creative helicopter flight on Mars would look like.  EFE / NASA / JPL-Caltech
An illustration provided by NASA on Monday showing what a creative helicopter flight on Mars would look like. EFE / NASA / JPL-Caltech

Over the next two days, the ground team will verify that the solar panels are working as intended, then begin testing the motors and sensors beforehand. The first flight, which should not take place before April 11.

(With information from Agence France-Presse)

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