The first Ingenuity helicopter landed on the planet’s surface. NASA announced this on its social networks.
NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter landed on the surface of the Red Planet after being dropped by its mother ship, the Perseverance rover. A little more than a week is left before the device’s first flight.
NASA recalled that this device costs about $85 million and weighs only 1.8 kg. It works on solar energy, but the researchers thought about the operation of the helicopter during Martian nights and built a battery into it.
#MarsHelicopter touchdown confirmed! Its 293 million mile (471 million km) journey aboard @NASAPersevere ended with the final drop of 4 inches (10 cm) from the rover's belly to the surface of Mars today. Next milestone? Survive the night. https://t.co/TNCdXWcKWE pic.twitter.com/XaBiSNebua
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 4, 2021
In addition, the helicopter has a heater. It maintains the internal temperature, although the outside can be as cold as -90°C. It also protects the key components of the helicopter – battery, electronics, and so on.
The main task of the helicopter is the testing of new technologies and the first flights on Mars. The first flight is scheduled for April 11th. If all goes well, Ingenuity will fly over Jezero Crater several times. Each flight should reach a height of no more than 5 m, and their range should be 90 m.