Well, as per the recent updates from mission controller NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California received the first status report from their Ingenuity Mars Helicopter that landed on February 18th 2021. The aircraft landed on the Jezero Crater which is attached to the belly of the agency’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover. In that reference the downlink that came in around 3.30 pm PST through a connection from MARS Reconnaissance Orbiter; showing that the helicopter will remain fixed to the rover for the next 30 to 60 days with the base station( an electrical box that is there in the rover that is collecting and storing routes conducting communications between the rotorcraft and the earth) and will work as planned.
As per the recent updates, only two primary concerns that remain under radar-
- The battery condition
- And the proper functioning of the base station operating as programmed, maintaining the heat, controlling the helicopter’s electricity and more.
Well, everything happens to be working brilliantly till now.
Also, there is a need to ensure that the Ingenuity is working with ample energy to keep up with the heating, checking an eye on the other vital functions such as maintaining the optimal battery life. Well, this is pretty necessary to make the mission a success. With just a one-hour charging session, the rotorcraft will serve 30% of its total capability. Again with the next charging session, it needs to be 35% which will be planned weekly when the helicopter remains fixed with the Rover.
The 4-pound rotorcraft will need a 6 lithium-ion battery. As for now, they are getting charged from the rover’s power supply. With deployment on the Martian surface, the device will be charged with its own solar power source.
After deployment, the helicopter will have 30 Martian days to carry out the experimental flight test window. If the aircraft manages to deal with the bone-chilling night with temperature dropping at -130 Fahrenheit, the team will move forward with the first flight on the aircraft for the unknown world.
With the success of the Ingenuity hovering around in its first flight ever, around 90% of all projects milestone will be realized. With successful landing and remaining operable for the next 4 more flights, each project will be designed on the last initiative taken.
The professionals are in fact dreaming of their next big aerial adventure based on Ingenuity, which would take us to further exploration of the Red planet. Well, the current situation is offering us an unattended viewpoint not delivered by the current orbiters. This will provide us with HD pictures and reconnaissance for humans and robots. This would definitely offer an access point to the landforms that are not non-accessible to the rovers too.