The first autonomous night of Ingenuity is a success, confirmed the NASA earlier this week. A major step taken, which promises to open a new path for Martian exploration.
Ingenuity, the small helicopter hanging from Perseverance survived its first night on mars. On April 5, NASA confirmed that the robot weighing just under two kilos had been found “Safe and sound on the surface of Mars”. A highly symbolic step taken for the US Space Agency, which should quickly begin the helicopter’s first exploration flight.
Complicated flight conditions
During its first exploration missions, Ingenuity will have to prove its strength to survive the Martian climatic conditions, which can easily reach the 90 ° C below zero in the crater of Jezero. For robots sent to the surface of Mars, these temperatures can be particularly harmful, and require the use of a radiator to keep the components at more decent temperatures. This first night spent solo for Ingenuity is therefore promising, since it has proven that the small helicopter has enough resources to operate on its own, and to survive far from the belly of Perseverance. The first flight is scheduled for April 11, and should mark the start of a 30-day mission from Mars, during which five flights will be considered.
A strange stone discovered
While the helicopter is getting ready, I can’t help checking out nearby rocks. This odd one has my science team trading lots of hypotheses.
It’s about 6 inches (15 cm) long. If you look closely, you might spot the row of laser marks where I zapped it to learn more. pic.twitter.com/sq4ecvqsOu
– NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) March 31, 2021
On the sidelines of first successful trials of Ingenuity, Perserverance continues its Martian exploration, and has just made a strange discovery. NASA recently shared the snapshot of a stone of still unknown nature. The piece of rock, 15 cm long and perforated at surface level, was analyzed by the Perserverance laser a few days ago. Among the first hypotheses put forward by scientists, it could be a piece of meteorite, or a little Martian rock detached from the surface.