NASA: Last Monday (19), the Ingenuity helicopter made history by making the first motorized flight on another planet. Now, the NASA robot is ready for its second flight on the Red Planet. It is due to fly over Mars today (22) in the morning.
According to the project director, MiMi Aung, the helicopter is expected to fly higher, reaching at least five meters above the Martian surface. On its first flight, the robot managed to make a three-meter climb. It is now expected to move sideways and take more aerial images of Mars.
Photos should start arriving at approximately 9:30 am (10:30 am in Brazil). “The images from the first Perseverance flight captured with its Navcam and Mastcam-Z cameras were spectacular. We expect even more phenomenal images in this second test,” says Aung in a statement.
Aung’s team will schedule at least three more tests in the next two weeks, with each flight becoming more complex. All images taken by Ingenuity will be posted on the official project page.
Ingenuity’s flight tests are operated remotely by the team and scheduled in advance, due to the signal delay between Earth and Mars. The task is not an easy one. To take off in an atmosphere 100 times thinner than Earth’s, the robot needs to rotate the four blades, or “wings”, at 2,500 revolutions per minute. For comparison, the speed is much higher than the flight of drones on Earth, for example.