NASA has already made history with its Mars Rover Ingenuity. Chopper̵
In a new blog post on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory website, the group explains that the Mars helicopter is moving to a new phase of its demonstration. The “Operations” phase of the demonstration will hopefully show that ingenuity and other aircraft built with the same technology can be used to increase the speed at which new discoveries are made on Mars. The idea is to use ingenuity in a way that future missions might use dedicated aircraft, and that’s pretty exciting stuff.
“The Ingenuity technology demonstration has been a resounding success,” NASA’s Thomas Zurbuchen said in a statement. As Ingenuity remains in excellent health, we plan to use it for the benefit of future aerial platforms while prioritizing and moving forward with the Perseverance rover team’s short-term scientific goals.
The operation demonstration will require the helicopter to perform some of its most daring feats yet. There is no guarantee that the helicopter will survive, but if it does, it will be a major step towards a future where power supply is part of future Mars missions.
NASA offers a brief summary:
The transition of the invention from conducting a technology demonstration to an operation demonstration results in a new aircraft envelope. Along with these one-way flights, there will be more precision maneuvering, greater use of its antenna observation features and overall more risk. The change also means that ingenuity will require less support from the Perseverance Rover team, who are looking forward to targets for taking rock and sediment samples in search of ancient microscopic life.
The helicopter has not yet made a one-way flight. Each of its flights began and ended at the same place on the so-called “Wright Brothers Field,” which is a flat area on the surface near where the rover and helicopter touched. One-way combat would be similar to what a dedicated aeronautical drone would perform as it travels long distances above the surface of the red planet.
Meanwhile, the endurance rover has been in a bit of a holding pattern. It has carried science as it hangs out in the area of flight tests, but it has been necessary to remain in the general vicinity of the helicopter so that it can record video of ingenuity in action.
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See the original version of this article at BGR.com