Before historic first flight: helicopter sends signs of life from Mars


Before the historic maiden flight
Helicopter sends signs of life from Mars

He is supposed to write space history: A small helicopter that landed on Mars with the NASA rover “Perseverance” is supposed to make the first flight on a strange planet. Now “Ingenuity” is sending a first sign of life to earth. But he still has to overcome an important hurdle.
 The  small “Ingenuity” helicopter on board the Mars rover “Perseverance” has sent its first status report to the control center in Pasadena, California. “Everything seems to be working fine,” said project manager Tim Canham, according to a statement from the US space agency Nasa. Now it is important to quickly charge the six lithium-ion batteries of the aircraft, which weighs around two kilograms, in order to keep the electronics warm.

“Ingenuity” (in German: ingenuity) is still attached to the underside of “Perseverance” (staying power). But in 30 to 60 days the helicopter is supposed to explore Mars from a bird’s eye view. It would be the first flight of an aircraft over another planet. “Ingenuity” will have to withstand extreme conditions: On Mars, it can be as cold as minus 90 degrees Celsius at night.

© The  “Perseverance” rover, weighing around 1,000 kilograms and the size of a small car, landed on Thursday – after 203 days of flight and 472 million kilometers traveled – with a risky maneuver in a dry lake called “Jezero Crater”. “Perseverance” is to investigate this lake with a diameter of around 45 kilometers over the next two years.

In the next few days, NASA engineers want to test the measuring instruments and the rover’s robotic arm. © The n a first short drive should be undertaken. On later tours, the specialists then want to look for a flat spot on the surface of Mars that is suitable as a starting point for the mini helicopter. © The  development and construction of the roughly 2.5 billion dollar (about 2.2 billion euros) rover had taken eight years. He is supposed to search for traces of earlier microbial life on Mars and to research the climate and geology of the planet.

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historic flight helicopter sends signs life Mars


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