WASHINGTON (AP) – The small helicopter “Ingenuity”, landing on the Rover “Fortitude” on Mars, is expected to be installed on a test flight for the first time in mid-April.
It is planned that “Ingenuity” (in German: Simplicity) will begin as soon as possible on April 11, the US space agency NASA announced. The pictures of the helicopter shooting will come to earth a day later. This would be the first flight of an aircraft on another planet. Earlier, April 8 was the starting date.
The 1.8-kg mini-helicopter had already sent the first status report to the control center in Pasadena, California, after the “Fortitude” rover landed on Mars, indicating it was in good condition. During the flight, the helicopter must climb to an altitude of about three meters, fly there for about thirty seconds, land again and then descend.
“Ingenuity” powered by lithium-ion batteries can take several flight attempts for about a month. Helicopters have to avoid extreme conditions: on Mars it cools down to minus 90 degrees Celsius at night, the planet’s gravitational pull is also low and the atmosphere is very thin. The “Perseverance” rover, weighing around 1,000 kg and the size of a small car, was set in a risky maneuver in late February in a dry lake called the “Jezero Crater”.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210401-99-56256 / 2
Web guru. Amateur thinker. Unapologetic problem solver. Zombie expert. Hipster-friendly travel geek. Social mediaholic.