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NASA unlocks the 'blades of glory' on its Mars Ingenuity helicopter

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA has unlocked the'blades of glory' on its Ingenuity helicopter ahead of the small rotorcraft's maiden flight on Mars this weekend. The space agency called the reveal of the chopper blades'mind-bottling' in reference to a quote from the Will Ferrell ice skating movie'Blades of Glory'. In a short clip shared on Twitter, the 4ft wide blades can be seen slowly unlocking on top of the tiny 19 inch tall helicopter, ahead of a'spin up' test in the coming days. Ingenuity is set to take its first flight on April 11, which will see the copter take off, hover in place and then return for landing. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the team leading the Perseverance mission, tweeted: 'The blades of glory, aka rotor blades of the #MarsHelicopter, have been unlocked and are ready for testing.' The blades of glory, aka rotor blades of the #MarsHelicopter, have been unlocked and are ready for testing.


NASA reveals enhanced side-by-side videos from Ingenuity's first flight

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA has revealed a new'motion filter' video of the history-making Ingenuity helicopter flying on Mars showing just where the dust travelled around the craft. While Ingenuity was sent to the Red Planet as a'technical demonstration' with no science mission of its own, NASA says it could help scientists better understand how dust travels through the atmosphere of the Red Planet. The video, shot by the Mastcam-Z camera on the Perseverance rover, reveals plumes of Martian dust made by Ingenuity upon takeoff and landing. After the successful flight on Monday April 19, NASA named the airfield that hosted the takeoff the'Wright Brothers Field' in honour of the aeroplane inventors. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) say they will now be pushing the 4lb helicopter'to the limit' in a series of future flights between now and early-May. While Ingenuity was sent to the Red Planet as a'technical demonstration' with no science mission of its own, NASA says this could help scientists better understand how dust travels through the atmosphere of the Red Planet The main purpose of Mastcam-Z, a camera mounted on a mast attached to Perseverance, is to take photos and video in high definition.


NASA shares bird's-eye-view photo of Perseverance taken by Ingenuity

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA has shared a'bird's eye view' image of the Perseverance rover, taken by the Ingenuity helicopter as it soared above the Martian surface. In a tweet, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) team said: 'I spy with my little eye…a rover,' sharing the image with Perseverance visible in the top left corner. It was taken during the third flight of the autonomous copter that happened on April 25 and saw it fly to an altitude of 16ft and travel for 64ft before landing again. At the peak it was moving at 6.6ft per second, or 4.5 miles per hour. In contrast, the Perseverance rover, captured in the latest images, travels at 0.1 miles per hour. Ingenuity is a technical demonstration, with no science experiments on board, as it is designed to prove a flying vehicle could be used on the Red Planet.


Ingenuity, NASA's helicopter that could, soars over Mars

Los Angeles Times

Compared to the seven-month, 293-million-mile journey from Earth to Mars, a brief excursion 10 feet above the dusty surface of Mars might seem like an afterthought. But this was a trip for the record books: the first-ever powered flight on another planet. NASA's Ingenuity helicopter spun its blades and rose above Mars' Jezero Crater, where it arrived two months ago with the Perseverance rover. Team members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge broke into applause hours before dawn Monday as they learned that Ingenuity had hit every mark in its planned flight -- spin-up, take-off, climb, hover, descent, landing, touchdown and spin-down -- without a hitch. NASA's Perseverance rover ready to search for signs of ancient life on Mars NASA's Perseverance rover ready to search for signs of ancient life on Mars If NASA's Perseverance rover lands safely on Mars, it will become the first space mission in nearly 45 years to directly search for signs of microbial life.


Ingenuity will attempt its FOURTH flight: NASA to push the Mars helicopter to its limit

Daily Mail - Science & tech

NASA's Ingenuity helicopter will attempt to fly on Mars for the fourth time today and could reach airspeeds of up to eight miles per hour as it soars for two minutes. The space agency said it would continue to push the 4lb copter to its limit in each subsequent test, this time almost doubling the speed of the third flight. The 18 inch tall craft will take off from'Wright Brothers Field' under the watchful gaze of the Perseverance rover at 10:12 EDT (15:12 BST), and soar up 16ft into the sky. Due to delays in sending data from the 187 million miles between Jezero crater on Mars and NASA JPL in California, we won't know if it worked until 13:21 EDT (18:21 BST). The small craft achieved all of its goals including flight duration, distance and speed, in the first three trips - so the fourth will'push the envelope' beyond what the small rotorcraft was designed to achieve by NASA JPL engineers. It will fly up to 16ft, head south over rocks, sand ripples and impact craters for 276ft and use its navigation camera to collect images of the surface every 4ft.