NASA's Perseverance is gearing up to release the Ingenuity helicopter that will conduct the first controlled flights on another planet. Ingenuity is currently in the belly of the rover that is traveling to an'airfield' on Mars, which is deemed the perfect take-off site – a flat area with textured features to help the helicopter track its path. The deployment of Ingenuity from the belly of Perseverance will take about six sols to complete and from there the rotocopter will have to meet a series of milestones before attempting its first flight. NASA is targeting no earlier than April 8 for this event, which will see Ingenuity fly nine feet into the air, hover in place for 30 seconds and then land again on Mars' surface. And the team says if the helicopter can pull off the short flight, the entire mission will be deemed a success. If the rotorcraft lands successfully and remains operable, up to four more flights could be attempted, each one building on the success of the last.
NASA's Ingenuity helicopter has been seen on Mars for the first time, strapped to the belly of the Perseverance rover, ahead of its first flight next month. The debris shield, covering the small helicopter, was discarded by Perseverance on Sunday, revealing Ingenuity tucked up and stowed sideways under the vehicle. It was'folded up and locked in place,' according to NASA, who said there would be'some reverse origami' required before it can be deployed to the Martian surface. Perseverance will now begin its'couple of days' drive to the designated helipad inside the Jezero crater, where Ingenuity will begin its maiden flight. NASA says it will launch'no earlier than the first week of April,' at which point they will have 30 days to make the first launch of a helicopter on another world. NASA's Ingenuity helicopter has been seen on Mars for the first time, strapped to the belly of the Perseverance rover after the debris shield was dropped from the vehicle NASA is set to fly where no one has flown before – Mars' atmosphere.
The helicopter sent to Mars by NASA to explore the Red Planet from the sky has'phoned home' and is working great, according to the space agency. Named Ingenuity, it rode to Mars strapped to the belly of the car-sized Perseverance rover that will trundle along the Jezero crater in search of ancient alien life. NASA mission control in Southern California received the first status report from Ingenuity late on Friday via the space-based Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Ingenuity will remain attached the belly of Perseverance for between 30 and 60 days before it detaches and makes its maiden flight - assuming it survives the brutal average -90C overnight temperatures found on the Red Planet. NASA shared an exciting image shot by the sky crane that shows Perseverance, nicknamed Perky, slung beneath and attached to mechanical bridals – moments before making landfall. The downlink confirmed that the helicopter, and an electrical box on the rover that routes and stores communications with Earth, were both performing as expected.
Washington – NASA is hoping to make history early Monday when the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter attempts the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. The space agency had originally planned the flight for April 11 but postponed it over a software issue that was identified during a planned high-speed test of the aircraft's rotors. The issue has since been resolved, and the 1.8-kilogram drone could achieve its feat by around 3:30 a.m. Data, however, won't arrive until several hours later, and NASA will begin a livestream at 6:15 a.m. "Each world gets only one first flight," MiMi Aung, the Ingenuity project manager, said before the first attempt.
Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. NASA's first-ever Mars helicopter is preparing to take to the Martian skies following Thursday's successful Perseverance rover landing in the planet's Jezero Crater. Ingenuity is currently attached to the rover's belly and its mission is also historic: the 4-pound helicopter will attempt the first powered-controlled flight on another planet. However, in order to successfully do so, Perseverance will have to take additional steps to prepare before it can embark on the hunt for a safe takeoff site.