Up next: Ingenuity Mars Helicopter making first ever attempt for flight test in another planet soon
KATHMANDU, FEBRUARY 20
NASA's Perseverance rover landed flawlessly on Martian land on Thursday, sending back first look of the Red planet from rover's view. On Friday, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) issued high resolution images of the rover's descent and the Martian land.
The nicely coloured picture shows Perseverance being lowered by its skycrane. The camera aboard on the rover's jetpack captured it while in midair, before the wheels touched down.
More images include a full-colour image of Mars sent back by the rover's Hazard Cameras on the spacecraft's underside, a good view of the Martian soil with rover's wheel and image of the descent stage where Perseverance falls through the Martian atmosphere.
The Perseverance rover also has a companion – NASA's Ingenuity Mars helicopter – which will make the first ever attempt for a flight test in foreign environment.
In the latest update, NASA's JPL shared that the Mars Helicopter is all well. It shared, "Mission controllers have received the first status report from the Mars Helicopter, which is currently attached to NASA's Perseverance rover's belly. The tech demo and its base station are operating as expected."
The first report was sent by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at 6:30 pm EST, Friday (5:25 am, Saturday, in Kathmandu).
JPL further stated that Perseverance will deploy Ingenuity to the surface very soon and then the helicopter will attempt a 30-Martian-day (31-Earth-day) experimental flight test window. It is reported that the helicopter will remain attached as long as 30 to 60 days.
This will be a frightful adventure of the first flight of an aircraft on another world, never done before. The test will show the potential of Ingenuity to survive in "bone-chilling Martian night" where temperatures dip as low as -130 degrees Fahrenheit (-90 degrees Celsius).
One of the challenges for the Helicopter is that its batteries could be just enough to operate the test.
Ingenuity, the Mars Helicopter I carry, is working as expected. I'm currently charging it, but once I set it down, it'll rely solely on its solar panels. If it survives the brutally cold Martian nights, the team will attempt flight. https://t.co/8pksN06ZwP #CountdownToMars pic.twitter.com/80kEoww0QU- NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 20, 2021
"There are two big-ticket items we are looking for in the data: the state of charge of Ingenuity's batteries as well as confirmation the base station is operating as designed, commanding heaters to turn off and on to keep the helicopter's electronics within an expected range," JPL's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter operations leader Tim Canham said.
"Both appear to be working great. With this positive report, we will move forward with tomorrow's charge of the helicopter's batteries," he reported.
NASA's JPL also shared that it is broadcasting a live with audio and video from Mars on February 22.