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Ingenuity’s first Martian helicopter touches Mars for the first time

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The first Martian helicopter Ingenuity has finally landed on the surface of Mars. This was announced today on the official NASA page on Twitter.

NASA’s U.S. Aeronautics and Space Administration reported:

#MarsHelicopter landing confirmed! The journey of 293 million miles (471 million km) aboard @NASAPersevere ended with a descent 4 inches (10 cm) from the bottom of the rover to the surface of Mars today. Next milestone? Survive the night.

NASA backed up the joyful message with Ingenuity imagery on the surface of Mars. The helicopter was delivered to Mars, attached to the bottom of the Perseverance rover. A couple of days earlier it became known about the last stages of preparation for unloading.

The helicopter itself, worth $ 85 million, is a very small structure weighing 1.8 kg. It is solar-powered and has a battery to power the heater during the harsh Martian nights.

On April 2, NASA’s chief engineer for the Mars Helicopter project, Bob Balaram, wrote.

This heater maintains an internal temperature of about 45 degrees Fahrenheit during the harsh cold of a Martian night, when temperatures can drop as low as -130 F (minus 90 degrees Celsius). This protects key components such as the battery and sensitive electronics well from damage at very low temperatures.

The main task of the helicopter is to demonstrate technology and test the first flights on Mars. There is only one week left until the first flight of Ingenuity – tentatively it will take place on April 11th.

Information about the results of the flight will arrive on Earth on April 12. If the first flight is successful, Ingenuity will make a series of longer flights over Jezero Crater, where Perseverance landed on February 18, 2021.

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