NASA Receives Status Report for Ingenuity - First Helicopter on Mars

The downlink that arrived at 15:30 Pacific Standard Time (PST) via Martian

reconnaissance orbiter, showedthat the helicopter and its base station (the electrical box on the rover that stores and directs the communication between the rotorcraft and the Earth) are working properly. The helicopter itself will remain attached to the rover for another 30-60 days.

There are two important points in the data:Ingenuity battery charge status and confirmation that the cradle is working properly. That is, all commands to turn on and off the heaters work as they should - the helicopter electronics must remain in standby mode. The dispatchers concluded that everything was working fine. In the near future, NASA will continue charging the helicopter batteries.

Ensuring that Ingenuity hasenough energy to maintain heat and other vital functions, as well as keep the battery in optimal condition, is essential for the success of the first helicopter on Mars. In a few days, the batteries will be charged to 35%, and future charging sessions will be scheduled weekly while the helicopter is attached to the rover.

After Perseverance deploys Ingenuityon the surface, the helicopter will have 30 Martian days (31 Earth days) of experimental flight. If Ingenuity manages to take off and hover on its maiden flight, more than 90% of the project's goals will already be met.

“We are in uncharted territory,” concluded MiMi Aung, Project Manager for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at JPL.

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