This was a big week for NASA and Mars, as the persistent rover landed on the surface of the red planet. One of the most exciting experiences that perseverance has taken on the surface of Mars is the creativity helicopter. The first step in trying to deftly fly over the surface of Mars is to deploy the helicopter from the probe and make it call home.
cleverness Call home This week, let the mission’s observers on the ground know that it survived the terrifying seven-minute landing under persistence. Perseverance reached the surface of Mars on February 18th, and they both wake up together with creativity and connect with the rulers on Earth. Controllers at JPL received a downlink Friday at 6:30 pm EST via the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, indicating that Ingenuity and its base station were operating normally.
Tim Canham, head of Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Operations at JPL, said the helicopter and its base station were apparently working fine. On Friday, he indicated that the team would go ahead with charging helicopter batteries on Saturday. On Saturday, February 20, a power-up procedure took place to charge the six lithium-ion batteries to nearly 30 percent of their full capacity.
The data will be sent back after this charge level is reached to help scientists determine how to follow future battery charging sessions. The plan is to charge the helicopter batteries to about 35 percent over the next few days and hold weekly charging sessions to keep the helicopter warm.
Perseverance is currently fueling creativity, but it will use its solar panels once deployed on Mars. The mission controller says that after Perseverance spreads creativity, the helicopter will have a 30-day test flight window on Mars spanning 31 days here on Earth. The helicopter will fly in a few months and it will be the first plane flight in another world.