NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) held a press conference yesterday where they talked a bit more about the upcoming helicopter flight with the Ingenuity miniature helicopter.
The ingenuity escorted NASA’s Mars spacecraft to Mars when it landed there last month. After only four days of landing, the helicopter was heard from the ground, which means it apparently managed to land as intended. Early this week, perseverance has ditched the shield that was protecting creativity while landing, and the two vehicles are now heading to the area where the helicopter will take off.
When the Perseverance arrives at the ‘airport,’ it is estimated that it will take approximately six days to unload the small helicopter from the Perseverance. Once ready, you’ll drive the Perseverance approximately 30 meters from where Ingenuity left it. After NASA verified that everything went as planned, the idea was that sometime in the next 30 days, Ingenuity would make its first helicopter flight on Mars. NASA writes about this:
“Ingenuity will rotate its rotors to 2,537 rpm, and if all final self-checks look good, go ahead. After climbing at about 3 feet per second (1 meter per second), the helicopter will fly 10 feet (3 meters) above the surface of Mars.” For up to 30 seconds, and after that, the Mars helicopter will land and touch the surface of Mars again. “
The journey of creativity will be the first controlled flight to another planet. In the future, this could be considered the first controlled flight of an aircraft here on Earth, a flight by Orville and Wilbur Wright in December 1903.