Testing on Mars
The first flight test of the Ingenuity helicopter, delivered to Mars on board the Perseverance rover, has been postponed and will not take place until April 14. This was reported on Saturday on the website of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Earlier, it was expected that the takeoff will take place no earlier than April 11, and data will arrive on Earth on April 12. Now the experts space agency plans to implement the first experimental flight Ingenuity on Mars no earlier than April 14. The decision to change the timing of the take-off was made in light of the latest data from Mars on Friday night.
At NASA assured that all systems Ingenuity operate normally. Experts of department specified that on Friday carried out tests of the helicopter propeller. They were completed ahead of schedule.
In March, Ingenuity chief designer Bob Balaram noted that the vehicle is quite fragile. In the event of a fall, it could suffer damage that would render it inoperable. The head of NASA's planetary science division, Lori Glaze, stressed that Ingenuity, which weighs around 1.8 kg, would be "the first helicopter to fly on another planet". She stated that specialists will take pictures with the help of cameras installed on the vehicle. According to Glaze, this will allow to collect information on some parts of the surface of Mars, which is difficult to observe from space.
Initially, the apparatus will climb to a height of about 3 meters. Later, the altitude will increase to 5m. It is expected that the flight of the device will last at least 31 Earth days.
Mars rover Perseverance made a landing in the vicinity of the crater Ezero on February 18. All operations during it were carried out in automatic mode. Now within a few months will check all systems and equipment. NASA experts expect to use Perseverance to detect traces of life on Mars in the distant past.