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NASA launches Ingenuity helicopter on its first flight to Mars: how to watch the broadcast



NASA’s Aeronautics and Space Administration has completed all the necessary preparatory work and launched an Ingenuity helicopter on Mars this morning, April 19, on its maiden flight.

And although the launch has already taken place, information about how the flight took place has reached Earth only now and in the near future NASA will begin to broadcast live:

The craft should rise 10 feet (3 meters) above the surface and hover in place for 30 seconds, while the rover’s cameras capture the historic attempt from a long distance.

Recall that the helicopter was delivered to Mars, attached to the bottom of the Perseverance rover. Ingenuity’s main focus is to demonstrate technology and test the first flights to Mars. The $ 85 million helicopter is a very small structure weighing 1.8 kg.

It was originally planned that the first flight will take place on April 11, but then the event was postponed as engineers worked on pre-flight checks and a solution to the software problem.

If today’s flight is successful, Ingenuity will make a series of longer flights over Jezero Crater, where Perseverance landed on February 18, 2021. The rover will provide support during flights, capturing images, collecting environmental data, and locating a base station that allows the helicopter to communicate with mission controllers on Earth.

Perseverance is intended for exploration in the Jezero crater area. The rover has rather ambitious tasks in collecting samples, looking for signs of past microbial life, assessing viability and preparing for the landing of humans on Mars.

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