News, Technology

NASA’s helicopter survives its first night on Martian surface as it gears up to make history

Ahsan Zafeer Written by Ahsan Zafeer · 55 sec read>

The Ingenuity helicopter survived its first night on the freezing-cold surface of Mars – a significant milestone in the rotorcraft’s journey ahead of its historic first flight. Jezero Crater, an ancient lake bed on Mars and the current site of the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter, can drop to temperatures of minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit – low enough to do significant damage to the helicopter’s electrical and battery components.

The Ingenuity helicopter can be seen on Mars as viewed by the Perseverance rover on April 4.

Previously, NASA’s Mars rover known as ‘Perseverance’ dropped off ‘Ingenuity’ ahead of the four-pound aircraft’s historic first flight.

 

The helicopter dropped four inches from the belly of the Perseverance to the surface of Mars. Although four inches does not seem that big of a drop, the main agenda was to achieve a successful landing which is a significant milestone.

Ingenuity went through a series of movements to unfold from beneath the rover, which looked like a butterfly’s metamorphosis, before dropping the final 4 inches to the Martian surface.

Ingenuity Mars helicopter prepares for the first flight on another planet

When Ingenuity does fly, which could happen as soon as April 11, it will be the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. In a bid to pay tribute to the first such feat conducted on Earth, Ingenuity carries a swatch of fabric from the Wright brothers’ plane, Flyer 1.

Ingenuity also had to be lightweight to fly through the Martian atmosphere, which has just 1% of the atmosphere present on Earth, while still having enough power to self-heat and survive the frigid Martian nights.

Source: CNN

Read More: Scientists and architects are working on a new Mars city concept.

Written by Ahsan Zafeer
A digital marketing professional specializing in content-based functional areas - Ahsan Zafeer is driven by a never-ending passion for developing, nurturing, and strategizing key content aspects. He writes extensively on tech, digital marketing, SEO, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies. He also serves as a digital marketing strategist and freelance consultant for globally oriented organizations. He tweets @AhsanZafeer Profile