“Mars helicopter is on the ground!”, The laboratory of the US space agency that manages the program tweeted on Saturday evening.
This ultralight helicopter, which looks like a giant drone, landed on Mars on February 18 and was tied up under the Perseverance rover and remained there until the rover arrived at the scene of the theft.
This 4-inch (10 cm) jump from the rover’s belly to the surface of Mars ended its journey of 293 million miles (471 million km). Next experiment: Survive the night ”, the lab tweeted again.
A photo with the tweet showed Perseverance moving away from the helicopter. The helicopter will have to supply energy to the sun’s solar panels, so it will be able to survive by warming itself on cold Mars nights.
Ingenuity has so far nurtured Rover’s energy, but now it needs to defend itself.
Bob Balaram, chief engineer of the Mars Helicopter Project, explained that the helicopter has a small radiator that allows it to maintain a temperature of 7 degrees Celsius, while the night temperature on Mars drops to -90.
“It helps protect the device’s core equipment,” he added.
For the next two days, before starting to test the motors and sensors before the first flight, the ground crew will check that the solar panels are working as intended, which is not expected to happen until April 11th.