Ingenuity Prepares for Maiden Flight
NASA has recently sent its Perseverance Rover to Mars. The rover carries a helicopter Ingenuity. The rover currently is in transit to the “airfield” where Ingenuity will attempt to fly. Once deployed, Ingenuity will have 30 Martian days or sols (31 Earth days) to conduct its test flight campaign.
NASA aims to show that the first powered flight on another world is possible. Ingenuity is an experimental engineering flight test. There are no science instruments onboard and no goals to obtain scientific information.
It is considered that flying on Mars is far more complex than flying on Earth because the Red Planet’s gravity is about one-third of Earth’s gravity. On the other hand, its atmosphere is just 1% as dense as Earth’s at the surface. During Martian daytime, the planet’s surface receives only about half the amount of solar energy that reaches Earth during its daytime. Night-time temperatures can drop as low as minus 90 degrees Celsius, freezing and cracking unprotected electrical components.