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Arts Culture NASA Update: Ingenuity Helicopter's First Flight Moved To 11 April 2021

NASA Update: Ingenuity Helicopter's First Flight Moved To 11 April 2021

NASA Update: Ingenuity Helicopter's First Flight Moved To 11 April 2021
An illustration of NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter flying on Mars. | Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech
By Christine Andas
By Christine Andas
April 08, 2021
NASA's Ingenuity helicopter is set to fly for the first time on the Red Planet on 11 April 2021

It has been a couple of months since NASA's Ingenuity helicopter successfully landed on Mars' Jezero Crater after hitching a ride under the belly of NASA's Perseverance rover. Since then, many have anticipated its flight, which is set to mankind a new achievement to rejoice about.

It's a record-breaking achievement for humans considering that flying a controlled rotorcraft on Mars is more challenging than flying one on Earth. It's difficult to fly the Ingenuity helicopter on a planet that has about one-third gravity that of earth and an atmosphere that is merely 1 per cent as dense as Earth's. Apart from this, engineers and scientists have nighttime temperatures to worry about. Temperatures drop as low as minus 90 degrees Celsius in the evening which can freeze and crack unprotected electrical components.

The Ingenuity helicopter by NASA is set to make its historical first powered flight on Mars' atmosphere on 11 April.

Read more: NASA Update: First Helicopter To Land On Mars Sends Back Valuable Info

NASA's Ingenuity helicopter. | Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU
NASA's Ingenuity helicopter. | Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

Originally, the Ingenuity helicopter was scheduled to take off around 8 April. However, on 31 March, NASA JPL announced on Twitter that the aircraft's takeoff was slated around the mentioned date. The helicopter's deployment process will take about six earth days.

Should the four-pound rotorcraft successfully take off, significant data will arrive on Earth on 12 April. It will also commence the Ingenuity flight campaign and continue to fly within 31 earth days.

The data acquired from the flight will help provide information for future space explorations—ultimately leading us closer to a world that is knowledgeable beyond its skies.

Read more: International Day Of Human Space Flight: 5 Unforgettable Highlights



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