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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday April 06 2021, @10:35AM   Printer-friendly
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


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  • (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.

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  • (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.