The first flight of Ingenuity, the helicopter that Perseverance has flown to Mars, will not fly this Thursday, April 8. We will have to wait until next time Monday, April 12, to see him take flight, as announced by the US space agency. Luckily, we now know that if all goes according to plan, there will be a direct from NASA to see how the little helicopter flies in the Martian sky. This is because both Perseverance and Ingenuity have multiple cameras installed to keep everything under control. And this is the best time to put them to use.
Ingenuity’s first flight is scheduled for Monday, April 12, around 3:30 EDT; that is, on the 9:30 am in the Iberian Peninsula or 2:30 in the morning in Mexico City. The historic event will be broadcast on NASA television, on its website and its application; but also on YouTube by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JLP) located in Pasadena (United States).
Ingenuity will rise ten feet above the surface of Mars and spin, all in just 30 seconds
East it will be the first powered flight of an aircraft on Mars. In addition, Ingenuity will not be alone, as it carries with it part of aviation history. Thus, the small helicopter will try to rise three meters above the surface for 30 seconds and rotate in the air. That is all. However, over 30 Earth days (31 Martian Suns), the NASA team will fly Ingenuity a total of five times, although the first three will be to check that all its instruments are working perfectly.
Ingenuity, part of the Mars 2020 mission
Ingenuity arrived docked on the Perseverance rover. Both vehicles are part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission that landed on Mars on February 18. The mission of this rover is study jezero crater looking for signs of ancient life. Also, thanks to MEDA, a Spanish instrument, we will know more about the atmosphere of the red planet. It will also collect samples that, if all goes as planned by NASA, could return to Earth later along with another mission.
This Friday we will know if everything goes ahead and Ingenuity flies on April 12. Meanwhile, NASA has prepared on its television channel, which can be seen on YouTube, content related to the Mars 2020 mission. They will begin this Friday around 1:00 p.m. EDT; that is to say, 7 p.m. Spanish peninsular time or 12 a.m. in Mexico City. And it can be seen in the following video: