Now, 170 million miles away, on a stormy surface Mars, A four-pound helicopter on four long legs awaiting take off. Within the next week or so, NASA It will announce if the Mars helicopter (also known as Ingenuity) can make its maiden flight with power and control.
The plan is to take off Ingenuity, fly a few feet in the air for about 20 to 30 seconds, and then land. For comparison, the Wright Brothers’ first flight over Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, took 12 seconds.
Of course, conditions on Mars are very different from North Carolina. Gravity on Mars is one-third the density of Earth and the atmosphere on Mars is very thin – about 1 percent of the density of our atmosphere. For this reason, the rotor Ingenuity blades should be much larger and spin faster. Because it is so far away, it needs to fly on its own, with no real-time input from the ground.
The Creativity Journey is a technical demonstration, and proof of concept that does not carry any scientific tools. NASA – along with many of us – just wants to know if it can fly. The mere fact that creativity is millions of miles away, sitting on the surface of Mars is awe-inspiring. The “mighty little helicopter” has already made some huge milestones.
First, it survived the launch from Cape Canaveral on July 30, 2020, and is attached to the belly of the persistent rover. Then, she passed a seven-month journey through space before the Sky Crane landed in the Jezero crater on Mars. Finally, it opened and opened from the belly of perseverance in a six-day process that involved breaking the screws, cutting the cable, and finally, a 5-inch drop to the surface. Since then, perseverance has waned and Ingenuity has survived Martian night temperatures that can drop to minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit. During the days, she uses her solar panels for charging.
If the first test passes, NASA plans up to five more flights over the course of 30 days on Mars (or 31 Earths).
Creativity has something from the ground that connects it to its place in history. A small piece of muslin covering the wings of the Wright brothers’ plane was attached to a cable under the helicopter’s solar panel.
How to see the creativity “flight” on Mars
NASA will be hosting a live broadcast on NASA TV and NASA.gov At 3:30 AM EST on Monday April 12 to confirm Ingenuity’s maiden flight. Additionally, you can follow the event at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory YouTube And the The social networking site Facebook Channels.
There are times when space exploration means small steps for mankind and giant jumps for mankind, and there are other times when there are short flights of small helicopters to other planets. We’ll know if creativity makes its own history soon.
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