NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is to make its first flight. With this, Ingenuity will make history of becoming the first controlled aircraft to fly in another planet.

About Ingenuity Helicopter

  • It is a part of the NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission.
  • The Ingenuity Helicopter will serve as a technology demonstrator for the potential use of flying probes in other worlds.
  • Ingenuity Helicopter was carried to the Martian surface by the Perseverance rover that landed at the Octavia Butler Landing site in Jezero crater.
  • The Ingenuity Helicopter carries a piece of fabric from the wing of Wright Flyer. The Wright Flyer is the airplane of the Wright Brothers.

Challenges

The atmosphere of Red Planet is only 100th as dense as that of the atmosphere of the Planet Earth. It is harder for an aircraft to generate a lift at such less dense atmospheric conditions. Such conditions are equivalent to the earth’s atmosphere at a height of 30000 metres. The existing helicopters on the earth have never reached such a height. However, Ingenuity cleared all the tests that were held on the earth in the year 2019 in simulated Mars atmosphere.

Mars 2020 Mission

This mission is a part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Programme. It was launched from the earth in July 2020. It reached Mars in February 2021.

About Mars Exploration Programme

It is an effort to explore Red Planet. It was initially formed in the year 1993. However, in the 2013, due to 40 per cent cut in NASA’s budget, the programme was reformulated. There are 4 major goals of Mars Exploration Programme.

  1. To determine if life ever arose on Red Planet (Mars)
  2. To prepare for the Human Exploration of Red Planet
  3. To characterize the climate of Red Planet
  4. To characterize the Geology of Red Planet

NASA Ingenuity to make first flight attempt NASA Ingenuity to make first flight attempt