The small Ingenuity helicopter has completed its mission: take off on Mars. His glory lasted for 30 seconds.
These are the first pictures of Ingenuity flying, this is the first helicopter to take off in another world. It is located 470 million kilometers away from the earth, has reached the abdomen of the wanderer, and has to rise and stay in an atmosphere with a density of only 1% of the earth’s density.
“We can already say that the helicopter is already flying on another planet. We must celebrate this moment and congratulate everyone!” Mimi Aung, project manager of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), told her team ecstatically. .
After a week of delay due to technical problems, the device finally succeeded in becoming the first helicopter to fly to another world. This feat has been compared with the feat of the Wright brothers on earth and is considered “historic.”
The returned data can be useful for future exploration of the Red Planet, including astronauts, by adding air dimensions that are not currently available. Although Ingenuity is a different technical experiment from the rover science mission, the helicopter was launched to Mars on July 30, 2020, and attached to the abdomen of NASA’s Perseverance Mars 2020. They landed together on the Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021.
30 seconds of glory
You will not believe what I see.
-NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) April 19, 2021
At around 1 p.m. this afternoon, the JPL flight operations facility received the data and impressive images of the successful take-off of the drone.
Ingenuity makes flying easy: it has risen to three meters above the ground. After reaching the maximum height, you will make a small turn, but you will not move horizontally. Then it landed. It only took about 30 seconds, which was called “the third second of horror”.
The first test will be conducted four flights within 30 days, which will increase flight time and difficulty.
Sophisticated robotic platform
the company Qualcomm Technologies, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) When developing the robot platform for helicopters, he explained the difficulties encountered by Ingenuity:
The helicopter must receive automatic operation commands transmitted millions of kilometers away, with a delay of 3 to 22 minutes
“Harsh space conditions have brought unique challenges to operating helicopters on Mars. Qualcomm Flight Platform Can be resolved. The main obstacle is the operation itself. Since the signal takes several minutes to arrive, it is not possible to control the helicopter in real time via the remote control. Instead, the helicopter must receive automatic operation commands transmitted millions of kilometers away, with a delay of 3 to 22 minutes.”
From there, the next major challenge is to ensure that the system that handles autonomous operations has enough computing power while reducing power consumption, because most of the power consumption in helicopters comes from heaters that keep components warm at night on Mars.
In addition to flexible autonomous functions, Martian radiation and atmospheric conditions are also important considerations when JPL determines the correct selection of a robot platform.
Extreme temperatures and temperature cycles will quickly wear out parts. Similarly, some forms of space radiation can gradually or suddenly damage silicon.
We will pay close attention to the upcoming Ingenuity flight on Mars.
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