Recently NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) announced that its Ingenuity Helicopter has been dropped on the surface of mars successfully and is in preparation for its first flight.
About Ingenuity Helicopter
- The Ingenuity is a technology demonstration of powered flight in another planet.
- NASA is to perform a series of test flights over 30 Martian days with the help of Ingenuity helicopter.
- The main challenge of Ingenuity Helicopter is that it would have to survive temperatures as low as -130 degrees Fahrenheit (54°C). Such low temperatures could freeze and crack the onboard batteries in the craft. The helicopter has successfully survived the temperature.
- The Ingenuity helicopter weighs 1.8 kg.
- It is a solar powered helicopter. The energy from the solar array in the helicopter will power the helicopter and also keep it warm during night.
- The full speed of Ingenuity helicopter is 2,400 rpm.
- Ingenuity helicopter is to reach a maximum height of 4.6 metres in Reed Planet.
- It was dropped on the Martian surface by the Perseverance rover as a part of Mars 2020 mission.
- It is an astrobiology mission. The mission aims to search signs of ancient microbial life in mars.
- NASA’s mission will characterize the geology and past climate of the planet.
- Perseverance Rover is the first mission to collect Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).
- Curiosity is the predecessor of Perseverance rover.
- The Perseverance rover carries seven payload instruments, two micro phones and 19 cameras.
- It will drill the Martian soil and collect core samples of martian rocks.
About Mars 2020 Mission
It was launched in July 2020. It is a part of Mars Exploration Programme of NASA. Mars 2020 mission was launched from Atlas V Launch vehicle.
It is one of the three missions launched to Mars in the year 2020. The other two Mars missions were as follows:
- Tianwen-1 mission launched by China
- Hope Orbiter by United Arab Emirates