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#astronomy Ingenuity Mars ‘copter makes historic first flight on pink planet – Astronomy Now

April 20, 2021 - Comment

A digicam aboard the Ingenuity helicopter captures a picture of the drone’s shadow on the floor of Mars. The small rotorcraft climbed to an altitude of three metres (10 toes) for its preliminary take a look at flight. Picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter pulled off the primary powered takeoff and touchdown within the ambiance



A digicam aboard the Ingenuity helicopter captures a picture of the drone’s shadow on the floor of Mars. The small rotorcraft climbed to an altitude of three metres (10 toes) for its preliminary take a look at flight. Picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter pulled off the primary powered takeoff and touchdown within the ambiance of one other world 19 April, a 40-second take a look at flight that represented a “Wright brothers second” on the pink planet.

After overcoming a refined timing glitch within the helicopter’s flight management software program, engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory stood by in anxious anticipation as Ingenuity carried out its maiden flight, ready for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to go over Jezero Crater three hours later to rely telemetry again to Earth.

Lastly, the info flowed in and “pilot” Håvard Grip was capable of verify rotor “spin up, take off, climb, hover, descent, touchdown, landing and spin down.”

“Altimeter information confirms that Ingenuity has carried out the primary flight of a powered plane on one other planet!” he stated amid cheers and applause.

Knowledge from Ingenuity confirmed the helicopter climbed, as programmed, to an altitude of about three metres earlier than returning to its launch website. Engineers stated the take a look at was nearly flawless. Picture: NASA/JPL

A brief video shot by a digicam aboard the Perseverance rover confirmed the small helicopter lifting off, hovering and setting down. A black-and-white nonetheless picture, wanting straight down from Ingenuity, confirmed the helicopter’s shadow on the dusty floor of Mars.

“We are able to now say human beings have flown a rotorcraft on one other planet,” MiMi Aung, the Ingenuity challenge supervisor, instructed her workforce on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “We’ve been speaking so lengthy about our Wright brothers second on Mars, and right here it’s.

“We don’t know from historical past what Orville and Wilbur did after their first profitable flight. I think about the 2 brothers hugged one another. Effectively, I’m hugging you nearly proper now.”

Engineers erupt in cheers and applause as information flows in from Mars confirming a profitable take a look at flight by the Ingenuity helicopter. Challenge supervisor MiMi Aung, standing beneath JPL’s motto – “Dare Mighty Issues” – elevating her fists in triumph. Picture: NASA/JPL

Ingenuity was added to Perseverance’s mission solely to find out the feasibility of flight within the ultra-thin ambiance of Mars. 4 extra take a look at flights are deliberate over the following two weeks, every another bold than the final. If all goes nicely, the helicopter will soar to 10 metres (33 toes) or so and vary a number of hundred metres or extra from its start line.

“We need to push it to the restrict,” Aung stated. “We need to push towards the wind, we need to push towards the pace and in the end, we count on the helicopter will meet its restrict. However that info is extraordinarily essential. … We actually need to know what the bounds are.”



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