Mars Helicopter to Try a Extra Advanced Flight on Thursday

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NASA has introduced that its Ingenuity Mars helicopter will try a second, extra advanced flight on the crimson planet on Thursday, April 22.

The flight try will come simply three days after Ingenuity grew to become the first-ever plane to attain powered, managed flight on one other planet.

In a tweet on Wednesday, NASA mentioned Ingenuity’s second flight will contain the machine climbing to a top of 5 meters earlier than tilting barely and flying two meters sideways. Ingenuity will then come to a cease, hover in place, and make turns to level its coloration digital camera in numerous instructions. After that, it’ll are available in to land.

The Mars helicopter’s maiden flight concerned solely a hover, three meters above the Martian floor. NASA mentioned beforehand that every of Ingenuity’s 5 flights might be more and more advanced, with the ultimate one anticipated to see it fly a distance of as much as 300 meters.

How do you prime #MarsHelicopter’s historic first flight? Go greater.

We'll try a more difficult 2nd flight on April 22: 50-second flight time, climb to ~16 ft (5m), and 5º tilt to speed up sideways ~7 ft (2m). We'll replace you right here with the outcomes. https://t.co/tDmJJNjPPk pic.twitter.com/laAIcL4UgS

— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 21, 2021

Ingenuity’s flights are made autonomously, based mostly on instructions despatched to the helicopter by way of the Perseverance rover, which may also document video of the flight. The rover and helicopter reached Mars collectively in dramatic vogue in February 2021 following a six-month journey from Earth.

NASA’s crew on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is overseeing the Mars mission, mentioned Ingenuity’s rotors might be programmed to fireside up at 5:30 a.m. ET (2:30 a.m. PT) on Thursday. NASA is but to announce whether or not it would livestream the occasion on NASA TV in the identical manner that it did for the maiden flight earlier this week.

Flying a machine on Mars presents completely different challenges to Earth because the Martian ambiance is about 100 instances thinner than our personal. To get off the bottom, Ingenuity, which weighs 4 kilos and stands 19 inches excessive, needed to spin its 4 carbon-fiber blades — organized into two rotors — at 2,500 revolutions per minute (rpm), considerably quicker than the roughly 500 rpm utilized by helicopters on Earth. The gadget additionally has to have the ability to deal with Mars’ bitterly chilly temperatures.

Writing about Ingenuity’s achievement when it grew to become the primary plane to take flight on one other planet, MiMi Aung, Ingenuity Mars helicopter undertaking supervisor at JPL, mentioned that whereas each picture of Ingenuity beamed again to Earth is particular, “maybe the one that can stick with me probably the most is that picture from the helicopter’s navigation digital camera (under). Taken when the rotorcraft was 2.1 meters within the air, the black-and-white picture reveals the shadow of our beloved Ingenuity.”

Aung went on: “Whereas it’s as much as others to resolve the picture’s historic significance of this second, after I first noticed it, I instantly considered the image Buzz Aldrin took of his boot print on the lunar floor. That iconic picture from Apollo 11 mentioned ‘we walked on the Moon;’ ours says ‘we flew on one other world.’”

Left to proper: Buzz Aldrin took this iconic picture of a bootprint on the Moon in the course of the Apollo 11 moonwalk on July 20, 1969. NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took this shot, capturing its personal shadow, whereas hovering over the Martian floor on April 19, 2021, in the course of the first occasion of powered, managed flight on one other planet. It used its navigation digital camera, which autonomously tracks the bottom throughout flight. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ingenuity’s flight exams will pave the best way for extra subtle plane designs that can be utilized to survey the Martian floor from an in depth distance, unhindered by terrain. Such drone-like machines can be used to gather knowledge for mapping routes for future Mars rovers, and will even be used to discover different locations in our photo voltaic system.

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