NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has been holed up inside the vehicle for months since Persevarance landed on the red planet. Finally, the helicopter that left its nest and settled on the surface of Mars is now counting down the days to the historic flight.
NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity has left its mothership Persevarance, the space agency said late Saturday (April 4th). After a journey of 471 million kilometers, the helicopter stood on its own two feet for the first time. There’s about a week left for his first flight.
First helicopter sent to another planet: Ingenuity
Preparations have been made for days to place Ingenuity on the martian surface. The helicopter, which weighs about four kilos and receives energy from the sun, was announced by NASA to sit on the surface. A built-in rechargeable battery has been prepared to keep systems warm and up and running on cold Martian nights, according to the statements. The space agency said Ingenuity was connected to Perseverance because the helicopter used the vehicle’s nuclear power system to warm up.
Ingenuity is now using the built-in heater to keep its system warm. This heater keeps the interior warm about 45 degrees celsius in the cold up to -130 Fahrenheit. With this heat ratio, the components of the battery and sensitive electronic parts are protected against possible hazards. The vehicle, which cost $85 million, is the first helicopter ever sent to another planet.
Ingenuity’s first flight will be on April 11
Ingenuity plans to make its first flight on April 11, according to NASA. The data collected as a result of the helicopter’s tests will only reach Earth on April 12. The space agency hopes to reach a conclusion on the search for life on the red planet if the mission is successful.