Ingenuity, 1.6 ft tall and weighing 4 kilos, is an $85 million add-on challenge to the $2.7 billion Perseverance mission, which is looking for indicators of earlier life on Mars. The helicopter traveled to Mars tucked under the abdomen of the rover, which landed on Mars in February.
In NASA’s distinctive plans, after the helicopter was dropped onto the underside in early April, the Ingenuity employees had a month and as much as 5 flights to disclose that managed, powered flying was attainable on Mars, the place the atmosphere on the ground is solely 1 % as dense as Earth’s. Ingenuity was to have been left behind, and Perseverance would have headed off to conduct its scientific explorations.
However the mission’s managers at NASA modified their minds.
Ingenuity flew practically flawlessly. The primary flight was a quick up-and-down. Subsequent flights ventured farther afield, assembly all of the distinctive aims.
In a weblog put up, Joshua Ravich, Ingenuity’s mechanical engineering lead, said the power system, the heaters, the navigation system and the rotors had been all working correctly. “Our helicopter is much more strong than we had hoped,” he wrote.
That opened the door to using Ingenuity not solely as a proof of the important know-how however moreover to current aerial reconnaissance of the encircling panorama for the Perseverance scientists, who’ve decided that they want the rover to find the neighboring areas for various months.