The cruise stage started after the spacecraft separated from the rocket, right after launch. The spacecraft departs Earth at a speed of about 24,600 miles per hour (about 39,600 kph). The trip to Mars will take about seven months and about 300 million miles (480 million kilometers). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Headed to the Red Planet with the Perseverance rover, the pioneering helicopter is powered up for the very first time in interplanetary space as part of a systems inspect.
NASAs Ingenuity Mars Helicopter got a checkout and recharge of its power system on Friday, August 7, one week into its near seven-month journey to Mars with the Perseverance rover. This marks the first time the helicopter has been powered up and its batteries have actually been charged in the area environment.
Throughout the eight-hour operation, the efficiency of the rotorcrafts six lithium-ion batteries was examined as the team brought their charge level up to 35%. The task has actually identified a low charge state is optimum for battery health throughout the cruise to Mars.
The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter can be seen between the left and center wheels of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. The image was taken in the vacuum chamber at JPL on October 1, 2019. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
” This was a huge milestone, as it was our first chance to turn on Ingenuity and give its electronic devices a test drive considering that we released on July 30,” said Tim Canham, the operations lead for Mars Helicopter at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “Since everything went by the book, well perform the same activity about every two weeks to preserve an appropriate state of charge.”
The 4-pound (2-kilogram) helicopter– a combination of specifically developed components and off-the-shelf parts– is currently stowed on Perseverances stomach and receives its charge from the rovers power supply. When Ingenuity is deployed on Mars surface area after Perseverance touches down, its batteries will be charged solely by the helicopters own photovoltaic panel. The group will continue with testing if Ingenuity survives the cold Martian nights during its preflight checkout.
In this illustration, NASAs Ingenuity Mars Helicopter bases on the Red Planets surface as NASAs Perseverance rover (partly visible on the left) rolls away. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
” This charge activity shows we have made it through launch and that so far we can manage the harsh environment of interplanetary area,” stated MiMi Aung, the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter project manager at JPL. “We have a lot more firsts to precede we can attempt the very first experimental flight test on another world, but today we are all feeling extremely great about the future.”
The small craft will have a 30-Martian-day (31-Earth-day) speculative flight-test window. If it is successful, Ingenuity will show that powered, managed flight by an airplane can be accomplished at Mars, allowing future Mars missions to possibly include an aerial measurement to their expeditions with second-generation rotorcraft.
In February 2021, NASAs Mars 2020 Perseverance rover and NASAs Ingenuity Mars Helicopter (displayed in an artists principle) will be the companys 2 latest explorers on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
More About the Mission
Handled by Caltech in Pasadena, California, JPL constructed and manages the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter for NASA. Lockheed Martin Space provided the Mars Helicopter Delivery System.
Determination is a robotic researcher weighing simply under 2,300 pounds (1,025 kilograms). The rovers astrobiology objective will look for signs of previous microbial life. It will define the planets environment and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth, and pave the method for human exploration of the Red Planet.
The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover objective is part of a bigger program that consists of missions to the Moon as a method to get ready for human expedition of the Red Planet. Charged with returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024, NASA will develop a continual human existence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASAs Artemis lunar expedition strategies.
The trip to Mars will take about 7 months and about 300 million miles (480 million kilometers). The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter can be seen between the left and center wheels of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. The 4-pound (2-kilogram) helicopter– a mix of specially developed components and off-the-shelf parts– is presently stowed on Perseverances stomach and gets its charge from the rovers power supply. As soon as Ingenuity is released on Mars surface area after Perseverance touches down, its batteries will be charged solely by the helicopters own solar panel. If Ingenuity endures the cold Martian nights throughout its preflight checkout, the team will continue with screening.