NASA said on Friday that after a successful preliminary test of the rotor, a NASA helicopter placed on Mars may make its first flight within two days. At present, for the first time ever to try to power on another planet, the plan for controlled flight is that the four-pound (1.8kg) helicopter called Ingenuity will depart from the Jezero Crater on Mars at 10:54 p.m. EST on Sunday. Take off NASA said (8:24 AM US Standard Time), hover it 10 feet (3 meters) above the ground for half a minute.

Ingenuity business manager Tim Canham (Tim Canham) said at the press conference: “This helicopter is very good and looks healthy.” He said: “Last night, we performed a 50 RPM rotation. We rotated the blade very slowly and carefully during the rotation.”

Sunday’s plan is to make it rise, fly only vertically, hover and rotate for 30 seconds to take a photo of the eternal wanderer, who landed on Mars on February 18 with a helicopter fixed on its underside.

Then, put Ingenuity back on the surface.

Since it takes 15 minutes for the signal to travel from Earth to Mars, and because of the harsh environment of distant planets, the flight will be automatic and pre-programmed into the aircraft.

Ingenuity project manager MiMi Aung said: “Mars is not only difficult when you land, but also when trying to take off from it and fly around.”

She explained that the gravitational force of this planet is significantly smaller than that of the earth, but less than one percent of the atmospheric pressure on the surface.

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This makes it necessary for Ingenuity to rotate its rotor blades much faster than helicopters on Earth in order to fly.

Aung said: “Put these things together and you have a tool that requires all the information to be entered correctly.”

NASA shot a short video on the rover just a few meters away, recording the test of the rotor, which looked like a small drone.

Ang said that the second test will be conducted today to make the rotor run at high speed.

She said: “The only uncertainty is still the actual environment of Mars.”

NASA considers unprecedented helicopter operations to be highly risky, but said it can obtain valuable data on the state of Mars.

NASA plans to conduct up to five flights in a month, each flight becoming increasingly difficult.


Why did LG give up its smartphone business? We discussed it on the gadget 360 podcast Orbital. Later (from 22:00), we will discuss the new cooperative RPG shooting game Outriders. Orbital is available for Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify and wherever you get podcasts.