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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday March 28 2021, @07:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the First-Post-on-Mars! dept.

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!

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?

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  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday March 29 2021, @04:59PM

    by Freeman (732) on Monday March 29 2021, @04:59PM (#1130830) Journal

    While I admit I'm one of those people that say, there's not much benefit or possibly any direct benefit to the population of Earth for sending some to Mars. An agency like NASA needs serious popular backing from the people of the country and those in charge and for those in charge to be serious about going to Mars. That happened with the Moon for a lot of reasons, but there is no driving purpose behind a mission to Mars. That is why the most likely candidate to actually make it to Mars is SpaceX. NASA might actually tag along once SpaceX has made it, but only because SpaceX already made it. Same story for the Moon. There's no money in getting to the Moon or Mars. There's plenty of money to had for saying you're going to build a rocket that could take you to the Moon / Mars, though. At a mere $1B per launch or whatever. NASA could have been there, could be leading, but hasn't and isn't. The rest of the rocket / space agencies in the world barely stack up in comparison. Russia's space agency has a serious legacy, but that is all they have, sadly. China doesn't have the legacy, but may get there. In the meantime SpaceX is hitting milestone after milestone and is seriously on track, more than any other agency or space company in the world.

    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
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