Ingenuity Mars helicopter gearing up for 11th Crimson Planet flight

Ingenuity Mars helicopter gearing up for 11th Crimson Planet flight

NASA's Perseverance rover acquired this image of the Ingenuity Mars helicopter on the floor of Jezero Crater.

NASA’s Perseverance rover obtained this image of the Ingenuity Mars helicopter on the bottom of Jezero Crater.
(Image credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity is getting pickle for its 11th off-Earth flight, which can perchance perchance well happen early Thursday morning (Aug. 5).

The 4-pound (1.8 kilograms) Ingenuity landed with the Perseverance rover inner Mars’ Jezero Crater on Feb. 18. Six weeks later, the little rotorcraft deployed from Perseverance’s belly and started a month-prolonged flight campaign to point out that aerial exploration is attainable on the Crimson Planet.

Ingenuity aced all 5 flights all via that stretch, so NASA granted the project a protracted mission that is centered on showcasing the scouting attainable of Mars helicopters. The chopper has carried out 5 extended-mission sorties to this level, and or no longer it’s about to manufacture one other one.

Video: Search for Ingenuity stumble on intriguing ‘Raised Ridges’ in contemporary video

This annotated image of Mars’ Jezero Crater depicts the ground track and waypoints of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s planned 11th flight, which is scheduled to take place no earlier than the early morning hours of Aug. 5, 2021. 

This annotated image of Mars’ Jezero Crater depicts the bottom music and waypoints of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s planned 11th flight, which is scheduled to comprehend space no sooner than the early morning hours of Aug. 5, 2021.  (Image credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/College of Arizona)

The Ingenuity group is prepping for the helicopter’s subsequent mission, that can also merely be its 11th total on the Crimson Planet. The flight will take hold of off at about 12: 33 p.m. local Mars time on a coming day, perchance as early as the next day (Aug. 5), Josh Ravich, Ingenuity mechanical engineering lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, wrote in an update printed at the moment (Aug. 4). If the next day is indeed a streak, that will perchance perchance well set takeoff at 12: 50 a.m. EDT (0450 GMT), he added.

Ingenuity will climb to an altitude of 39 feet (12 meters), then cruise to a contemporary airfield about 1,260 feet (385 m) away, reaching a top urge of about 11 mph (18 kph) within the strategy. The flight will final about 130 seconds, Ravich wrote.

Despite the incontrovertible truth that Ingenuity will snap some photos all via Flight 11, the main reason is to gain the little chopper to that contemporary airfield, from which it’ll extra stumble on South Séítah, fragment of a abnormal space of sandy ripples whose rough terrain is subtle for the plentiful rover to traverse.

“As requested by the Perseverance science group,” Ravich wrote, the contemporary space “will change into the staging dwelling for on the least one reconnaissance flight of the geologically intriguing South Séítah dwelling. Desire us ideal fortune and glance you in South Séítah!”

Perseverance, meanwhile, is making willing for a plentiful milestone in its mission: the sequence of its first Mars sample. The auto-sized rover will sooner or later snatch dozens of Crimson Planet samples, that can also merely be hauled to Earth by a joint NASA-European Role Company campaign, perchance as early as 2031.

Perseverance is on the 2d in an dwelling called “Crater Floor Fractured Rough,” which capabilities rocks that the mission group thinks are as outdated skool as Jezero Crater itself. But the rover’s handlers belief to cruise over and investigate nearby South Séítah, if imaginable, within the somewhat discontinuance to future.

Mike Wall is the writer of “Out There” (Gigantic Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a e-book in regards to the stumble on alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook. 

Mike Wall

SPACE.COM SENIOR SPACE WRITER — Michael has been writing for Role.com since 2010. His e-book in regards to the stumble on alien life, “Out There,” was printed on Nov. 13, 2018. Ahead of becoming a science writer, Michael labored as a herpetologist and natural world biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the College of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor’s level from the College of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the College of California, Santa Cruz. To search out out what his most widespread project is, you might perchance perchance perchance be ready to observe Michael on Twitter. 

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