According to NASA, Ingenuity – the four-pound helicopter linked to endurance – is on its way to its “airport” on Mars.
The space agency has announced that its target for its first attempt at launch will not be reached before April 8, 2021.
Creativity is designed as an experiment to see if it is possible to fly on Mars like we do here on Earth. And the process that leads to the start is very delicate. Think how long it took humans to survive on a powered flight on Earth. Given the thin Martian atmosphere and a 20 minute contact delay, it could be said that this is an even bigger challenge on Mars.
“As with anything to do with helicopters, this type of operation has never been carried out before,” said Farah Alibai, commander for the integration of marshal helicopters for the endurance ship. He said in a press release. “As soon as we expand, there is no going back.”
Any movement in the next two weeks could affect or affect the success of Ingenuity – starting with precisely positioning the helicopter in the center of its 33 x 33 square foot airport, which is actually a flat field on Mars that is unobstructed. From there, the entire process of propagation of persistence will take about six sols days, which is known as a sol. (Mars Mars is thirty-nine minutes longer than Earth day.)
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The plan is that on Mars day, one of six early moles, scientists on Earth will activate a bolt-breaking device that will lift the lock that sustains creativity on the belly of perseverance on the journey from Earth to Mars. At the second solstice, scientists will launch a “cable-cutting flame” to propel the helicopter from its horizontal position. Aside from cutting cables, on the second sol, creativity will literally stretch two of its four legs. On the third day, a small electric motor will stimulate creativity and lift it up completely. On the fourth day, creativity will continue to arise. On day five, the scientists will charge the Ingenuity batteries by holding out as a solar energy source. At that point, it would be suspended about five inches above the Martian surface and only connected to the tenacity by a nail and a few small electrical contacts.
“Once we cut the wire with perseverance and let the last five inches fall to the surface, we want to get our great friend off asap so we can put sunlight on our solar panel and recharge our batteries,” said Bob Palaram. Chief Engineer of the Mars helicopter at Propulsion Laboratory Jet, in a statement.
From there it was time to see if the dexterity could fly. Persistence will be 16 feet from Ingenuity, where 30 Martians will conduct their flight test campaign.
Flying on the surface of Mars is extremely difficult not only because of the difference in gravity to Earth, but also because the atmosphere on Mars is almost 1 percent as dense as the Earth’s surface atmosphere. There are also extreme temperature changes on Mars; During the day, the red planet receives half the solar energy that reaches the earth. At night, temperatures drop to minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Creativity is low because it has to be light to fly through the atmosphere, but also has enough energy to hold energy on cold Martian nights. There is a chance that creativity may only survive on its own on the first night.
“Every step we have taken since this flight began six years ago has been an unknown area in aircraft history,” Ballaram said. “And while surface expansion will be a major challenge, it will be even more difficult to survive that first night on Mars alone without protecting the rover and conserving its energy.”
Assuming that persistence passes flight instructions to the intelligence of over a million air traffic controllers here on earth. Ingenuity is scheduled to run its rotors at 2,537 RPM and then start. If all goes well, it soars about three feet per second and hovers 10 feet for 30 seconds before hitting the ground on Mars. The actual mission begins after two test runs.
Ong said, “Mars is hard.” “Our plan is to work on everything the Red Planet throws at us as we have dealt with every challenge we have faced over the past six years – along with determination, a lot of hard work, a little Creativity.”
Ingenuity’s design specifically alludes to the first power-driven flight here on earth.
According to NASA, a small piece of cloth that covers one of the wings of the Wright Brothers aircraft is placed under an Ingenuity solar panel with the help of electrical tape. The Apollo 11 crew transported another piece of material to the moon during their historic 1969 mission.
“Innovation is an experimental flight test of technology – we want to see if we can fly to Mars,” Ong said. “There are no scientific instruments on board and no targets to obtain scientific information. We are confident that any technical data we want on the surface of Mars and above can be created within the window of 30 Mars. ”