Another great moment comes again for the US space agency. The first otherworldly aircraft in human history will soon attempt the first powered flight on Mars. There are almost no steps left before he can take this historic flight, but a rather important one has just finished: he has detached himself from Perseverance and has touched the ground.
This mission, in full, is a demonstration of current technological power, so every milestone reached by this little machine will be fabulous and unique. Survived a 471 million kilometer journey into deep space, a short trip around the surface of Mars attached to the belly of the rover and then to a final drop of about 10 centimeters to touch Martian soil.
Has spent his first Martian night alone
Nighttime temperatures in Jezero crater can drop to -90 ° C, which can freeze and crack unprotected electrical components and damage onboard batteries needed for flight. Once the helicopter was dropped, Perseverance had to move quickly away to make sure Ingenuity got some sunlight. Survive that first night after being deployed from the rover, it was an important moment for the helicopter of just 1.8 kilograms.
“This is the first time that Ingenuity has been alone on the surface of Mars,” said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “But now we have confirmation that we have the proper insulation, the proper heaters, and enough battery power to survive the cold nights, which is a huge victory for the team. We are excited to continue preparing Ingenuity for its first test of flight”.
If everything works as it should, Ingenuity it will charge properly and survive.