NASA Expands Plans For Helicopter On Mars : NPR

In this image, captured by the Mars Perseverance rover and courtesy of NASA, the Mars Ingenuity helicopter flies over the surface of the planet on the right on Friday. Hide NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU / MSSS via AP caption

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NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU / MSSS via AP

In this image, captured by the Mars Perseverance rover and courtesy of NASA, the Mars Ingenuity helicopter flies over the surface of the planet on the right on Friday.

NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU / MSSS via AP

NASA is taking additional time to test the operational capabilities of its groundbreaking Ingenuity helicopter, which has completed its completion first powered flight on Mars less than two weeks ago. Since then, the device has been completed in total four flights. If everything goes well after the fifth trip, NASA says It is planned to start the “next phase” of testing.

“The Ingenuity technology demonstration was a complete success,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, in a statement Friday.

WATCH: The moment NASA controllers learn that ingenuity is the first flight to Mars

“With Ingenuity remaining in excellent health, we plan to use it to benefit future air platforms while prioritizing and advancing the Perseverance rover team’s short-term scientific goals,” he added.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover, the landed on February 18took the helicopter to the red planet. The rover has since explored the planet’s terrain near the landing site, and its success has allowed more time for NASA to test the Ingenuity helicopter says.

I’m going south to my first exploration zone and guess who’s going to join. The #MarsHelicopter and I will walk the path as it enters a new phase to demonstrate how future rovers and aeronautical researchers can work together. https://t.co/oYK5sydeN4

– NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) April 30, 2021

The rover’s goal is to examine rocks and soils found on the planet that could suggest that life existed there 3.5 billion years ago. The mission will Take two earth yearswhat comes out to a single year on Mars.

In particular, NASA announced on April 21st that the rover’s technology was effectively able to generate a small amount of breathable oxygen from the Martian atmosphere.

From the air: NASA Rover generates oxygen from the Martian atmosphere

The original task of the Ingenuity helicopter was to take into account its flight ability Differences in atmospheric pressure and gravity found on the planet compared to earth.

In this concept illustration provided by NASA, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter stands on the surface of the Red Planet. NASA / Getty Images Hide caption

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NASA / Getty Images

In this concept illustration provided by NASA, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter stands on the surface of the Red Planet.

NASA / Getty Images

“Ingenuity’s transition from conducting a technology demonstration to an operational demonstration brings with it a new flight envelope,” said NASA.

“It will maneuver more precisely, make better use of aerial observation capabilities, and take more risk overall,” he added.

The additional tests will be carried out in the next few months and will end in August at the latest.

While the first helicopter flight was only 10 feet above the ground, each trip has increased the distance dramatically. On the fourth flightThe helicopter soared 16 feet in the air and made a 872 foot round trip across the planet.

An added power in the updates comes from looking at the images captured by the cameras on the Perseverance rover so that people on Earth can see the helicopter hovering over the red-and-orange rocky desert floor.

Jack

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