What is Ingenuity Helicopter?

NASA recently announced that its Ingenuity Helicopter has been dropped on the surface of mars successfully and is in preparation for its first flight.

Ingenuity Helicopter

  • Ingenuity is a technology demonstration of powered flight in another planet.
  • NASA is to perform a series of test flights over thirty Martian days with the help of Ingenuity helicopter.
  • The main challenge of Ingenuity Helicopter is that it would have to survive temperatures as low as -130 degrees Fahrenheit. Such low temperatures could freeze and crack the onboard batteries in the craft. The helicopter has successfully survived the temperature.
  • The helicopter weighs 1.8 kilograms.
  • It is a solar powered helicopter. The energy from the solar array in the helicopter will power the helicopter and also keep it warm during night.
  • The full speed of the helicopter is 2,400 rpm.
  • It is to reach a maximum height of 4.6 metres in Mars.
  • The Ingenuity helicopter was dropped on the Martian surface by the Perseverance rover as a part of Mars 2020 mission.

Perseverance Rover

  • The Perseverance rover is an astrobiology mission. The mission aims to search signs of ancient microbial life in mars.
  • The mission will characterize the geology and past climate of the planet.
  • Perseverance is the first mission to collect Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).
  • Curiosity is the predecessor of Perseverance rover.
  • The rover carries seven payload instruments, two micro phones and nineteen cameras.
  • It will drill the Martian soil and collect core samples of martian rocks.

Mars 2020 Mission

Mars 2020 mission was launched in July 2020. It is a part of Mars Exploration Programme of NASA. Mars 2020 mission was launched from Atlas V Launch vehicle.

It is one of the three missions launched to Mars in 2020. The other two Mars missions were as follows:

  • Tianwen-1 mission launched by China
  • Hope Orbiter by UAE

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