NASA’s Mars Helicopter is taking a break from pioneering operations on the Red Planet.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, which operates the Ingenuity mission, announced Thursday (July 14) that cleverness, the first aircraft to take a powered flight on an extraterrestrial world will temporarily cease operations for the next several weeks. “#MarsHelicopter is taking a break for the next few weeks. It’s winter and dust season Mars, which means reducing sunlight to recharge the Ingenuity batteries. But don’t worry, the team expects the helicopter to fly again in August,” JPL on Twitter (Opens in a new tab).
Likes a land, Mars has a slightly tilted axis with respect to its orbital plane, which means that different amounts of sunlight reach the northern and southern hemispheres over the course of a year, giving them distinct seasons. Over the next few weeks, the Martian winter means more dust will be in the air, blocking the sunlight creativity needs to recharge.
The ingenuity should be back in the Martian air by the beginning of August, according to A NASA statement (Opens in a new tab) Published Wednesday (13 July). “Dust levels are expected to drop later in July, so the team has decided to give the helicopter batteries a break of a few weeks and build the daily charging case back up,” the statement read.
Other Mars vehicles have to pause during the Martian winter as well. Chinese Zhurong rover hibernated May 18 for the same reason for creativity, the age of the previous spacecraft for NASA like a chance was threatened Because of the harsh winter conditions on the red planet. (Indeed, the opportunity was solar powered Killed by a giant dust storm blocking the sun in 2018.) However, NASA engineers are confident that, weather permitting, creativity will make it safe and sound.
NASA’s Creative Helicopter launched in the summer of 2020 and landed on Mars’ Jezero Crater On February 18, 2021 attached to the underside of perseverance rover. Perseverance deployed the helicopter weeks later, and Ingenuity took its maiden flight on April 19, 2021. The 4 lb (1.8 kg) helicopter took the maiden flight of 39 seconds and saw Creativity soar about 10 feet (3 meters) above the red soil of the so named site. Fit Wright Brothers Field, in honor of the pioneers of human flight on Earth.
So far, creativity has achieved a total of 29 flights (Opens in a new tab) It has a total airtime of 55 minutes, far exceeding its original planned mission of just five flights.
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