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Ingenuity : First Helecopter On Mars

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    Prelims
  • Published
    23rd Apr, 2021

 An  announcement was made on Monday by NASA that Ingenuity helicopter had completed  its first flight. This flight is significant in the sense that it is the first flight of a powered aircraft on another planet.  A technology demonstration will be carried out by the helicopter. This is intended to test the first powered flight on red planet. This task was completed in perfect manner today. With the success of first flight demonstration the team will perform four more test flights in coming 30 days. However this is not the first kind of technical demonstration on other planet.Some other similar sort of technical demonstration have been performed earlier by other flights such as Mars Pathfinder rover Sojourner and the Mars Cube One Cube Sats in the year 2018.

 

The helicopter Ingenuity is  the first helicopter that took a flight on Mars. This helicopter was carried by NASA’s rover named as  Perseverance. The perseverance rover was launched in the month of  July last year. The main task of this helicopter will be to collect samples from the surface from locations where rover is not able to reach.

 

The meaning of Ingenuity is  the skill of thinking, performing, or using things in new ways, esp. to solve problems.This helicopter has been named by a student of Alabama named Vaneeza Rupani. The helicopter got its name because of a high school student Vaneeza Rupani of Alabama. The name however was submitted by Rupani for the mars Rover that was launched in the year 2020. The name for this rover was given as Perseverance. NASA officials gave this name to the helicopter afterwards.

 

About Perseverance :

Perseverance landed at the Jezero Crater of Mars in February last year. Perseverance was designed with an added features from its predecessor Curiosity. The perseverance will remain on the Mars for about two years. The task that it will perform will include finding past signs of life on the red planet. The samples collected from the mars will be used for the purpose of future robotic and human missions.  Perseverance carries seven primary payload instruments, 19 cameras, and two microphones. The rover is also carrying the mini-helicopter Ingenuity, or Ginny.

The rovers goals include identification of  ancient Martian environments, seeking out evidence of former microbial life existing in those environments, collecting rock and soil samples to store on the Martian surface, and testing oxygen production from the Martian atmosphere to prepare for future crewed missions.

 

The nature of  Ingenuity helicopter’s mission is experimental. It is completely independent of the rover’s science mission. Ingenuity is able to fly using counter-rotating blades. These blades spin at about 2,400 rpm. Ingenuity has wireless communication system, equipped with computers, navigation sensors, and two cameras. It can be charged on its own through its solar powered panels.

This helicopter has been designed by aan Indian J Balram .He is a graduate from IIT Madras and later worked for NASA. The flight by this helicopter is quite significant in nature because of the atmosphere of mars.The air prevalent here is quite thin and no object could fly in this atmosphere. The mission flight is of huge importance as it will lead other flights to success in future on red planet.

 

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