Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday April 06 2021, @10:35AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Baby-it's-cold-outside dept.

News at CNN:

(CNN) The Ingenuity helicopter survived its first night on the freezing-cold surface of Mars, a major milestone in the rotorcraft's journey ahead of its historic first flight.

Jezero Crater, an ancient lake bed on Mars and the current site of the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter, can drop to temperatures of minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit. That's low enough to do significant damage to the helicopter's electrical and battery components.

The 4-pound helicopter finally separated on April 3 from the belly of the Perseverance rover, where it has been stashed since before the rover launched from Earth in July.

Ingenuity went through a series of movements to unfold from beneath the rover, which looked like the metamorphosis of a butterfly, before dropping the final 4 inches to the Martian surface.

[...] "This is the first time that Ingenuity has been on its own on the surface of Mars," said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, in a statement. "But we now have confirmation that we have the right insulation, the right heaters, and enough energy in its battery to survive the cold night, which is a big win for the team. We're excited to continue to prepare Ingenuity for its first flight test."

When Ingenuity does fly, which could happen as soon as April 11, it will be the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. In a nod to the first such feat conducted on Earth, Ingenuity carries a swatch of fabric from the Wright brothers' plane, Flyer 1.

Ingenuity, the first rotorcraft sent to Mars, presented a challenge to the engineers who designed it for several reasons. It needed to be small enough to tuck up under the rover without endangering Perseverance's mission, which is the first to search for evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars.

April 11, or 4-11! Or later.

Previously:>br> NASA’s Mars Rover Drops Off Ingenuity Helicopter Ahead of Historic Flight
First Flight on Mars? Ingenuity Helicopter Preps for Takeoff
NASA Lays Out Plans for its First Flights on Mars


Original Submission

Related Stories

NASA Lays Out Plans for its First Flights on Mars 9 comments

NASA lays out plans for its first flights on Mars:

On Tuesday, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) hosted a press conference where it detailed the plans for the Ingenuity drone that hitched a ride to Mars attached to the underside of the Perseverance rover. The scientists and engineers behind the drone announced that they've now picked a site for what is expected to be the first powered flight on another planet. With the site settled, they're now targeting April 8 for the flight, which will be the first in a month long series of test flights to validate the technology.

[...] Håvard Grip, Ingenuity's chief pilot, said that the test flights required two distinct areas, both of which needed to be flat. The inner part, which he called the airfield, had to have very little material that could interfere with landings. That needed to be surrounded by a larger area, called the flight zone, that had to have enough material in it that the drone's onboard image-processing system could track individual features in order to assist with navigation.

Grip said the search for an appropriate area started within a few hours of Perseverance's landing. That's because knowing where Perseverance was helped Grip and his colleagues search satellite imagery of the surrounding area. Once the rover was operational, the drone provided higher-resolution imagery of potential sites.

In the end, things couldn't be much more convenient, as the rover landed on what will be the edge of the flight zone, which extends north from the landing site.

[...] If everything goes well with depositing Ingenuity and its systems check out, the earliest we could see a flight is in two weeks, on April 8. A month has been set aside for five flights, with extensive checkouts of the system between each. During this time, however, Perseverance won't be able to move on to its main science mission.


Original Submission

First Flight on Mars? Ingenuity Helicopter Preps for Takeoff 92 comments

Salon has an article on Ingenuity.

In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright flew a plane for 12 seconds, 120 feet in the air, on what is now known as the first powered-controlled flight on Earth. Now, 118 years later, the first powered-controlled attempt at a flight on another planet is about to take place.

According to NASA, Ingenuity — the four-pound rotorcraft attached to Perseverance — is on its way to its "airfield" on Mars.

The space agency announced that its target for its first takeoff attempt will happen no earlier than April 8, 2021.

Ingenuity was designed as an experiment to see if it is possible to fly on Mars as we do here on Earth. And the process leading up to the takeoff is a very meticulous one. Consider how long it took humans to stick a powered-controlled flight on Earth; given Mars' thin atmosphere and a twenty-minute delay in communication, it is arguably more challenging on Mars.

"As with everything with the helicopter, this type of deployment has never been done before," Farah Alibay, Mars helicopter integration lead for the Perseverance rover, said in a press statement. "Once we start the deployment there is no turning back."

Every move for the next couple of weeks could make or break Ingenuity's success — starting with precisely positioning the rotorcraft in the middle of its 33-by-33-foot square airfield, which is actually a flat field on the Martian surface with no obstructions. From there, the entire deployment process from Perseverance will take about six Martian days, which are called sols. (The Martian sol is thirty-nine minutes longer than an Earth day.)

Good luck, little chopper!

Previously:
NASA Lays Out Plans for its First Flights on Mars
How NASA Designed a Helicopter that Could Fly Autonomously on Mars
NASA is Sending a Helicopter to Mars, but What For?


Original Submission

NASA’s Mars Rover Drops Off Ingenuity Helicopter Ahead of Historic Flight 6 comments

On the ground! The Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, has been dropped from Perseverance onto the Martian surface.
Article at the Verge.

NASA’s Perseverance rover, which is currently roaming around Mars, has dropped off the mini helicopter Ingenuity ahead of the four-pound aircraft’s historic first flight.

Ingenuity dropped four inches from the belly of Perseverance to the surface of Mars.

[...] Now that Ingenuity is separated from Perseverance, it will need to power and heat itself. Ingenuity will draw power from the sun using its onboard solar panels, but its heater will have the tough job of keeping the helicopter warm through the freezing cold nights on Mars, where temperatures can go as low as negative 130 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Bob Balaram, Ingenuity’s chief engineer.

I have no doubt that at some point, in the future, a Martian colonialist kid will find a really neat toy.

Just The Picture.


Original Submission

NASA's Mars Helicopter Ingenuity Set for 7th Red Planet Flight on Sunday 9 comments

Never Say Never Again

NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity set for 7th Red Planet flight on Sunday:

NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity will take to the air again this weekend, if all goes according to plan.

Ingenuity's handlers are prepping the 4-lb. (1.8 kilograms) chopper for its seventh Martian flight, which will take place no earlier than Sunday (June 6). The plan is to send Ingenuity to a new airfield, about 350 feet (105 meters) south of its current location on the floor of Jezero Crater.

"This will mark the second time the helicopter will land at an airfield that it did not survey from the air during a previous flight," NASA officials wrote in an update on Friday (June 4). "Instead, the Ingenuity team is relying on imagery collected by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that suggests this new base of operations is relatively flat and has few surface obstructions."

Data from the flight will be beamed home to Earth over the three days following the flight, they added.

Video:See the view on Mars from Ingenuity helicopter's fourth flight

Previously:
Surviving an In-Flight Anomaly: What Happened on Ingenuity's Sixth Flight
Mars Helicopter Suffered Glitch During Flight, Forced Emergency Landing
Mars Helicopter Flight Delayed to No Earlier than April 14
NASA's Ingenuity Helicopter Survives First Freezing Night on Mars
NASA's Mars Rover Drops Off Ingenuity Helicopter Ahead of Historic Flight
First Flight on Mars? Ingenuity Helicopter Preps for Takeoff
NASA Lays Out Plans for its First Flights on Mars


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @10:58AM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @10:58AM (#1133807)

    What is said here that wasn't already mentioned in the article from 10ish hours ago? The craft has arrived, it was really cold, all things ok. I know there is an editor with a massive hard-on for all things space but this is just silly.

    https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=21/04/05/019232 [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @11:02AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @11:02AM (#1133808)

      Just wait until the SJW editor starts "their" shift later today and posts an article about LatinX engineer who monitored the battery levels all night.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @11:27AM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @11:27AM (#1133812)

        Or, the RWNJ who thinks that Mars is flat, and the the Covid-19 vaccine is a Vatican plot to put a Bill Gates chip in the air on Mars, and, well, and, and Massive Fraud, more massive than ever before! With no evidence.

        • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Tuesday April 06 2021, @11:51AM (1 child)

          by PiMuNu (3823) on Tuesday April 06 2021, @11:51AM (#1133821)

          Or the AC editor who posts an article about the poor quality of news submissions to aggregator sites.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @01:15PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @01:15PM (#1133846)

            More concerned what the fahrenheit is in modern science money (SN Editors used to insert conversions:)
                For example, a better measure for the current readership might be what that is in GWU (global warming units).
                My bestguesstimate is about 20 GWU between daytime and nightly temps on mars.
            To which it twere, more important than absolute F temp, unless they did not even harden it for freezing days? In that case it will never fly.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @11:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @11:48AM (#1133819)

      Ever since I had that strange experience with an electronic device I feel as if I can see through the cameras of Mars rovers without any time delay.

      Looks like the chopper will take off but the troposphere is too thin.

    • (Score: 1) by kvutza on Tuesday April 06 2021, @12:30PM

      by kvutza (11959) on Tuesday April 06 2021, @12:30PM (#1133835)

      If I got it correctly, the new thing is that Ingenuity survived its first night without being connected to Perseverance.

      Good luck little pal!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07 2021, @02:01AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07 2021, @02:01AM (#1134133)

      Is this your first JPL PR rodeo? This is what they do! They probably put way more money into PR than they do their missions!

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @01:23PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @01:23PM (#1133852)

    Not like they didn’t test putting it in a freezer on Earth to test before sending to Mars.
    Mars - the ultimate ‘production’ deployment

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @03:03PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @03:03PM (#1133897)
      The drama will be if it goes out of control presenting a risk to Perseverance and then we find out if it's got a Flight Termination System. Will there be an earth-shattering a mars-shattering kaboom?
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @08:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @08:03PM (#1134003)

        The rover is 4 pounds. So it it weighs about 1.5 pounds on Mars, will probably not fly especially high, and fall at a rate of 0.38G. It could probably drop out of the sky onto your head (on Mars) and you'd be fine. A metric ton rover designed to be dropped onto the planet and survive numerous extreme conditions, and operate for years, wouldn't even register it as noise.

    • (Score: 2) by corey on Wednesday April 07 2021, @11:57AM

      by corey (2202) on Wednesday April 07 2021, @11:57AM (#1134242)

      Yeah, of course. But the helicopter would have been exposed to those temperatures while attached to Perseverance anyway (unless it has a built in sauna). Maybe the residual heat of Perseverance would raise the night time temps a bit above that 130 below, but probably not by much.

  • (Score: 3, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday April 06 2021, @02:14PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 06 2021, @02:14PM (#1133881) Homepage Journal

    What would have been wrong with 4/20? All the engineers and techs could have lighted up to watch the action!

    --
    Let's go Brandon!
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Socrastotle on Tuesday April 06 2021, @08:00PM (4 children)

    by Socrastotle (13446) on Tuesday April 06 2021, @08:00PM (#1134000) Journal

    Then what exactly is the skycrane that drops and then carefully maneuvers away from the rover? Or similarly for the one that also did it a decade ago. It's not like they'll be actively controlling it. 14 minute latency would cause certain issues there. So it's just a preprogrammed flight of a rover. Like the skycrane, except the skycrane is a hella big monster carefully dropping a metric ton rover onto the surface. While the drone they're trying to hype up is a 4 pound toy. What am I missing?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by martyb on Tuesday April 06 2021, @09:32PM (1 child)

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 06 2021, @09:32PM (#1134035) Journal

      It appears something got omitted from your quote. The full quote from TFS was:

      When Ingenuity does fly, which could happen as soon as April 11, it will be the first powered, controlled flight on another planet.

      The skycranes were "powered, controlled landings". Those took off from Earth and landed on Mars; two different planets.

      Here, the flight would take off AND land entirely on another planet (Mars).

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Socrastotle on Wednesday April 07 2021, @02:28PM

        by Socrastotle (13446) on Wednesday April 07 2021, @02:28PM (#1134278) Journal

        I'm not entirely sure how you get that out of the quote. And the cranes also have to take off after releasing their load in a powered and controlled flight, or they would simply crash right on top of the rover. And similarly there have been numerous drones that have launched, landed, and relaunched on various other celestial bodies in mission resupplies for autonomous missions, or to get astronauts back into orbit for things like the moon landings. I suppose those were not on a planet, but this is feeling increasingly sad. The same organization that put men on the moon 50 years ago is now trying to create hype proclaiming, at best questionable, world firsts over what comes down to launching a toy sized drone...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @11:59PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 06 2021, @11:59PM (#1134084)

      The skycrane was a rocket. Those have been done many, many times. This is an aircraft, and winged flight has never been done on another planet before.

      • (Score: 2) by Anti-aristarchus on Wednesday April 07 2021, @07:34AM

        by Anti-aristarchus (14390) on Wednesday April 07 2021, @07:34AM (#1134200) Journal

        and winged flight has never been done on another planet before.

        There was the ill-fated "Moonplane", but it never really got off the ground.

        --
        More truth to be done.
  • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday April 06 2021, @09:14PM

    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday April 06 2021, @09:14PM (#1134027)

    That's really cool that they're honoring the first powered controlled flight on Earth. I'm sure the brothers had no idea the fabric they chose would ultimately end up on Mars.

    --
    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
(1)