NASA helicopter ingenuity takes its first color photo on Mars


The first color photo of Ingenuity taken on Mars.

The first color photo of Ingenuity taken on Mars.
Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Well, we’ve seen better photos of Mars, but this one is special because it was taken by NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter. Encouragingly, the crafts managed to survive its first icy night on Mars, bringing us one step closer to its maiden flight.

Low resolution Photo was taken on April 3 when Ingenuity was still underneath the Perseverance rover. AND in fact, you can see two of the rover’s wheels in the upper corners of the image. This photo is a small preview of what is to come; once the 4 pounds (1.8-kilogram) takes flight, it will attempt to capture high-resolution color images of its surroundings at altitudes reaching 10 feet (3 meters).

In other good news, Ingenuity did through its first night on Mars as a standalone system, according to a NASA statement. The device had been tied to the bottom of the rover until last weekend, and withstood a 4-inch (10-centimeter) free fall to the surface. The helicopter was releaseD He surfaced on April 3 and is now standing on all four of his outstretched legs.

Wit, photographed by Perseverance on April 4.

Wit, photographed by Perseverance on April 4.
Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech

That Ingenuity managed to survive its first night on Mars is a great relief. Temperatures in Jezero crater can drop to –130 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius) at night. Sensitive electronic components and batteries can be seriously damaged at these temperatures. No longer attached to perseverance, the helicopter will now have to fuel its heater from your own battery, which you will do by drawing power from your solar panels.

“No more free energy,” wrote Bob Balaram, chief engineer for the Mars Helicopter Project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a Article written for NASA.

in a statement, MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at NASA’s JPL, said that “we now have confirmation that we have the proper insulation, the proper heaters, and enough power in [Ingenuity’s] battery to survive the cold night, which is a great victory for the team.

The helicopter will now monitor itself for the next few days to determine how well its power and thermal control systems are working. and if adjustments will be necessary. Assuming everything is tickety-boo, the next important step will be to release the constraints that are currently binding the rotor blades, followed by testing the blades and their associated motors. The team will also evaluate the vehicle’s autonomous navigation system, along with a device that will measure its orientation and angular velocity during flight.

Perseverance, which relays Ingenuity messages to mission controllers on Earth, will then move to Van Zyl Lookout—A sweet spot from which the rover You can look out and survey the 33 by 33 foot (10 by 10 meter) airfield where Ingenuity was deposited.

WWe are getting closer and closer to this historic flight, in which Ingenuity, with its fingers firmly crossed, will become the first aerial vehicle to take to the skies of a strange world. NASA says the first flight could happen as soon as this Sunday, April 11.

The helicopter does not carry scientific instrumentation, apart from its cameras. The Ingenuity mission is intended strictly as a technology demonstration, as NASA envisions future missions involving more sophisticated aerial vehicles. NASA has reserved 30 suns, or Martian days, for these important tests.

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