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Preparing for the first flight on Mars

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It’s been two months since Perseverance, NASA’s most recent Martian rover, arrived on Mars. Consequently, it has also been almost nine months since it was launched off our planet.

As you may already know, Perseverance was carrying the Ingenuity, the first unmanned helicopter to Mars. As its title says, the purpose of this second device is to make the first unmanned flight on Mars.

NASA had its first flight planned for some time in the thirty days after Perseverance’s landing at the Jezero crater. The responsible team ended up scheduling the flight for April 11, unfortunately a problem encountered in the April 9 command sequence ended up causing the plans to be postponed.

Preparing for the first flight on Mars

Ingenuity’s rotors are designed to rotate much faster than those of any other helicopter, in order to combat the differences in mass that exist on Mars. During a propeller rotation test, scientists and engineers at the American agency noticed that the sequence of commands was interrupted by the timer in the transition from pre-flight mode to flight mode. However, NASA has already communicated to the public that the helicopter is safe and undamaged.

The flight remains scheduled for this month if no further unforeseen events force the team to postpone until May. However, the first Test drive Ingenuity will be just a takeoff followed by a 30-second flight. You will therefore have to wait for four more test flights, after which the helicopter will finally fly a little more freely over the surface of the red planet.

It is also worth noting that the American space agency has already shared the impossibility of helicopters ever being able to transport humans on Mars. This response was shared on the agency’s Twitter account with the video by Thomas Zerbuchen, one of those responsible for Ingenuity. Zerbuchen said it was not possible to carry people on Mars due to the lack of sufficient atmosphere to do so. However, it will be possible to carry significant loads that may come to help possible human expeditions to the planet.

Source: Engadget

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