The American Space Agency NASA can take credit for another first. The helicopter Ingenuity will join Curiosity, InSight, and Perseverance to add another dimension to the exploration of Mars. Each of them is meant to carry out specific predetermined tasks. Curiosity is exploring the terrain; InSight is drilling its way below the surface while Perseverance will relay back sound bites. They have a common goal. It is to learn more about Mars, which might have supported lifeforms in the past. NASA is relying on Artificial Intelligence, robotics, and renewable energy to pave the way for the colonization of the Red Planet.

Perseverance rover landed on Mars on February 18. It is carrying a miniature helicopter which it will release on the surface of the red planet. This could happen on or around April 8.

Space Flight Now says Ingenuity is the name of the Mars helicopter attached to the belly of Perseverance. The chopper's weight is 4lbs, and it has been a part of the rover since April 6, 2020. NASA’s ground control team at Jet Propulsion Laboratory is preparing to activate Ingenuity. Its operation will be through remote control, and it will provide aerial views of the topography.

Ingenuity will be the first helicopter to fly on Mars

The rotorcraft was not a part of the original mission of Perseverance. NASA approved the helicopter to fly to Mars with the Perseverance rover in 2018.

That was about two years before launch. NASA spent millions to develop the device, and it will evaluate its effectiveness when Perseverance releases Ingenuity. Space Flight Now mentions the testing schedules of Ingenuity. Once airborne, it would go to an altitude of about 10 feet. It will hover there briefly and take a turn before it descends to the surface of Mars.

During a press conference, Håvard Grip, Ingenuity’s chief pilot at JPL, said - “It will be the first powered flight by an aircraft on another planet.” Mars now has Perseverance rover to add Martian soundtracks to the library of NASA.

Mars has an experimental aircraft on its surface

An official of NASA describes Ingenuity as an aircraft that happens to be a spacecraft.

Space Flight Now goes on to add that the helicopter has survived all the challenges and design issues normally associated with a spacecraft. Ingenuity is an experimental aircraft, and the ground team will keep track of its performance because it has to take off, fly and land in an atmosphere different from that on Earth. The UAE, China, and America are in the skies of Mars with different missions. All of them have their attention focused on the natural resources available there. Incidentally, Ingenuity is a short-time project and Perseverance will have to proceed with its greater objective of collecting rock samples. These will be taken back to Earth so that scientists can analyze them in their quest for signs of ancient Martian life.

A milestone in the history of Mars

According to CNN, the flight of Ingenuity on Mars would go down in the annals of history as a milestone for NASA. This helicopter came along with the Perseverance rover and will soon attempt its first flight on the red planet. The plan is for it to complete five flights within 31 days. However, Perseverance will be there for the next two years. It will search for signs of ancient microbial life on Mars and send back samples of sound on the alien surface apart from images and videos. The successful flight of a helicopter on Mars would help boost scientists' confidence who are associated with this and other associated projects. That is important to make things happen.

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