NASA will attempt to fly Ingenuity for the first time early next month. The agency announced it plans to test fly the 4-pound prototype helicopter no earlier than April 8th. Ingenuity made its way to Mars attached to the belly of NASA's Perseverance rover, which successfully landed on the surface of the Red Planet on February 18th. Perseverance will deploy Ingenuity in a 33-by-33 foot stretch of terrain within the Jezero Crater NASA has selected for its flatness. The entire process will take about six days to complete, with one step of the procedure involving a pyrotechnic cable-cutting device.
As the Ingenuity helicopter prepares to make history by flying through Mars' atmosphere, the Perseverance rover snapped a selfie of the pair to commemorate one of their last moments together. NASA released the image Wednesday, which is a collection of 62 individual pictures taken by the rover as it looked down on the small copter that stood 13 feet away. Ingenuity is set to take its first flight April 11, which will see the copter take off, hover in place and then return for landing, and although the event will only last for 90 seconds it is a feat that determines the fate of the mission. This will be the first vehicle to fly on another planet, which NASA likens to the Wright Brothers moment on Earth. As the Ingenuity helicopter prepares to make history by flying through Mars' atmosphere, the Perseverance rover snapped a selfie of the pair to commemorate one of their last moments together Ingenuity made the 239 million-mile journey to Mars inside the belly of Perseverance until it was dropped to the dust Martian ground April 4. NASA announced the following day that the $85 million drone survived its first night outside of its travel companion, allowing the American space agency to move ahead with their flight plans.
NASA's Ingenuity Mars helicopter is'healthy' but its maiden flight has been delayed and it will now not launch until at least next week due to a software update. Ingenuity's trip, which is to be the first-ever powered, controlled flight on another planet, was set for April 11, was delayed until April 14 and is now delayed again. A high-speed test of the four-pound (1.8 kilogram) helicopter's rotors on Friday ended earlier than expected due to an alert of a potential issue. The US space agency has now determined the craft is physically healthy, but requires a software update, which takes time to upload, before it can safely fly. As the upload has to travel 147 million miles to the Red Planet, its expected the whole process will take up to a week, with a new flight date due to be set next week.