The miniature Ingenuity helicopter is officially touching Martian soil. The vehicle, which was attached to the Perseverance rig, was released to move alone this Saturday (3).
According to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which takes care of the mission and was responsible for making the robots, the procedure involved a fall of about 10 cm from the “belly” of Perseverance, where the helicopter was kept, until it reached dry land without damage. .
The next challenge involves surviving alone on the planet. The 1.8 kg vehicle with rechargeable batteries needs to keep warm on the cold night of Mars using the systems themselves for the first time – before, it shared the energy of the probe itself. JPL also published a photo that, taken by Perseverance, shows the object now independent.
The first Ingenuity flight over Mars is scheduled for April 11, with the captured materials and data arriving at the NASA team on Earth only the next day. The helicopter is the first in its category to fly off Earth and has two cameras, as well as sensors to assist during the flight.
The aim of the helicopter is to test forms of aerial locomotion on another planet, in addition to capturing photos and videos of Mars from other perspectives.