NASA’s Mars Helicopter Intelligence: What You Need to Know Before Its First Flight

Ingenuity in this NASA animation flies to Mars.

NASA / JBL-Caltech

NASA’s wheel rovers have revealed an incredible amount of information about Mars. From Learning about the wet history of the planet And discovering the chemistry of its soil The chaotic presence of methane in its atmosphere, Rolling robots are essential for drawing a picture of one of Earth’s closest neighbors. They are notable, but they can cover a lot of land – slow movement is very important to prevent them from falling off a cliff or colliding with a rock.

But imagine if they could fly.

Building a set of wings for a robot on another planet will open a new way to explore other worlds. Alan Duffy, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Swinburne in Australia, says: “The ability to fly anywhere you want is very fast, with no damage from collisions or falls.

NASA ingenuity, a little, The lightweight Rotograph is scheduled to fly to Mars If it flies on April 11, it will be the first time humans have flown to another planet and reached a controlled plane – a moment in another part of the Wright Brothers International.

However, there are significant challenges in flying to Mars, and the ingenuity of having to fight with a planet, especially enjoying killing spaceships. If it is to succeed in descending from the ground, it will lead to future journeys, deep into the universe.

Here’s why ingenuity is so unique.

Priority checks

If you’re wondering how NASA got a helicopter to Mars and you feel like you haven’t heard much about it, it’s because NASA’s perseverance rover stole all that light. Ingenuity is the demonstration of “ride-with” work and technology. There is no science to do on Mars. Rather, it is built to show that a flying plane is possible in another world.

During the rover’s long voyage from Earth to Mars kicked in July, ingenuity was dragged into the belly of perseverance. Rover Landed on the planet again in February, And ingenuity was safe and sound from the surface of the harsh, cold Mars until April 4 Diligence carefully deposited the Middle Ages In the soil.

While diligently on board, the ingenuity is protected and operated by the rover’s suit tools. But after it was abandoned and diligence rolled in, the ingenuity was cold and lonely – very simply. Tuesday night temperatures drop to minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit below freezing. Fortunately, ingenuity has shown that it can cope with the cold Its rover escaped the first night separated from the ball.

The relationship with diligence is not over. When ingenuity takes its first flight, it’s the diligence of sending those messages back to Earth

On April 6, Ingenuity took the first photo of Mars, On low-resolution, orange and brown snapshot surface. It’s not much, but if you want to get the technology, this is the first time a vehicle Ability The plane took a photo of the surface of the red planet, so it looks so awesome.

The cabin doors are now closed

Reaching the plane on Mars has a ton of challenges, but the most important is the wind.

There is a complete difference in the atmosphere between the red planet and the earth. The Martian atmosphere is incredibly thin compared to our own, so the lift is very difficult to reach. Ingenuity is designed to deal with this problem. We’ve already called everything from a chopper to a flyer, from a helicopter to a rotorcraft, and the technology that most reminds me of that is a drone.

However, its blades are much larger than Earth-sized crafts, and they rotate at about 2,400 rpm – six times faster than Earth-based crafts. At this speed and scale, Earth-based experiments show that ingenuity should not be able to get off the ground on Mars.

Unlike a drone, no one drives the vehicle in real time. Ingenuity had to upload the craft instructions well in advance and then it would receive the data when the flight was over. Ingenuity is highly autonomous and is designed to keep itself healthy during communication delays between two planets.

Get ready to leave


Fortunately, there was one next to the landing site. “We began to realize that there might be a big airport right in front of our noses.” Said NASA’s Howard for Grip, chief pilot for intelligence. Griff says the team looked at “every rock and pebble” before deciding on a home base for the helicopter.

Within 30 sols (about 31 Earth days), Intelligence plans to build five planes, but the first plane is the most important. This will be a very simple flight.

The rotorcraft will go straight up to a height of three meters (about 10 feet) and circle the place for 30 seconds. Before going down and back down again, it will make a small turn. During the flight, the ingenious eyes and brain will work overtime, which is pre-planned by the team to keep the craft safe.

According to Grip, it will snap 30 images per second on the ground to understand where it is and make the necessary path changes. This autonomy ensures that ingenuity is definitely not thrown through the abrupt Mars.

Future missions

As NASA engineers have repeatedly emphasized: Ingenuity is a “technological demonstration” similar to the first Mars rover Sojorner that rolled across the planet in 1997.

In many ways, Ingenuity has already succeeded: it survived the voyage to Mars, set itself on the planet, and survived the first night alone in the cold. Its first flight will be important not only for the exploration of Mars, but also for the exploration of our entire solar system.

“If ingenuity proves that spacecraft can successfully operate on other planets, it greatly expands the options for future exploration,” says Jonty Horner, a professor of astronomy at the University of Southern Queensland.

The aircraft is a powerful tool for research. If robots can stay in the air, they can quickly climb mountains, investigate cracks in mountains, fly over lakes or lakes, and move quickly to avoid danger. With the right equipment, they can pluck the models and bring them back to a rolling robot. You can imagine the future Mars rover-rotorcraft combo, allowing space agencies to test their landing location more accurately and determine the best place to roll the next day.

There are other missions – and worlds – that benefit from the ingenuity demo.

Dragonfly will explore Saturn’s moon Titan.


Such a task NASA’s Dragonfly, Horner calls the “big sister” of intelligence, and that mission will visit Titan, one of which Saturn’s most interesting moons. The Moon is rich in organic matter, has an Earth-like nitrogen-rich atmosphere, and is home to Massive methane lakes And storms. It can be symptoms of life, past or even present.

“Titan is like no other place in the solar system, and Dragonfly has no other purpose.” Says Thomas Surbuchen, Co-Administrator of NASA’s Directorate of Scientific Work. It was a little more ambitious than the ingenuity, with the spacecraft equipped with all the tools needed to search for signs of life and explore the cell impact abyss, which was once suspected of containing liquid water. Dragonfly is scheduled to launch in 2027 and reach Titan by 2034.

When ingenuity descends from the ground, the dream of another world plane becomes a reality – it begins in the next era of planetary space exploration.

Sophia Harrison

Part time worker

I'm Sophia Harrison working as a part-time staff at the Costco since the past year until I become as an author at the iron blade, hope I can use my experiences with the supermarkets here.

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