Though the touchdown has been confirmed, the helicopter will not take its first flight before April 11.
KATHMANDU, APRIL 04
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed that Mars Helicopter Ingenuity has successfully set its foot on Martian land.
The lab confirmed that Ingenuity was let on a final drop of 4 inches (10 cm) from the Perseverance rover's belly to the surface of the Red planet on late Saturday (early Sunday morning in Kathmandu).
#MarsHelicopter touchdown confirmed! Its 293 million mile (471 million km) journey aboard @NASAPersevere ended with the final drop of 4 inches (10 cm) from the rover's belly to the surface of Mars today. Next milestone? Survive the night. https://t.co/TNCdXWcKWE pic.twitter.com/XaBiSNebua- NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 4, 2021
The helicopter safely completed a 293 million mile (471 million km) journey to Mars inside Perseverance but now it is on its own.
Ingenuity has now got to survive the harsh environment on Mars where the temperature drops down to as low as -130ºF (-90ºC).
According to Bob Balaram, Chief Engineer for the Mars Helicopter Project at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Ingenuity has a thermostat-controlled heater to beat cold.
The heater will help to maintain the interior at about 45 degrees F through the bitter cold of Martian nights.
This is crucial so that the cold temperature does not affect the important components of the copter such as the battery and some of the sensitive electronics.
Ingenuity is a technology demonstration created to test the first-ever powered flight on Mars. It weighs only 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds on Earth; 1.5 pounds on Mars).
Though the touchdown is now confirmed, the helicopter will not take its first flight before April 11.