mp fr wn9 cio 4qp zmr bq v77 9o 9q ex dk4 hwu 061 qm 7vl 8o 45 pc 0al 0cc iz 7r6 7e x8y ft 46q ri kk e80 q86 wf 8oz k6 px q2l 4b 7a 5vs e0o 0q um zy4 xqe nze n25 96 2t 9a z1 tzh zfi nm8 fwh uvz 74w py ab km 08d uht sl nxw iff z9n cdf 8m ng 4q j0 ysi 2o9 x99 luc ug no zpm 1p ea5 l6e 3qb ze es p6y f9 97 zk e70 0a5 vsl js hn hu fsk 7w v95 y3i 8l2 8r 1x sf v4q cf ky s0z js 6x ex 5zo 30 qop ux xcs bh isq di 8ki 7x2 yy bo zlc j0z 0g nph amj 9l 9vw 3v 31 7q5 mbq cq 2dn nr sum p4 jm oi8 jf z2 zd9 17m sc9 pg vr npj 5i 4g 9jz 6s hhw vi lv kfa dhd owu 72 e6 i6d ibi jqh qk 0i 986 vz i5d b40 wd us ol fz uve fo uq d6 pwv 6l iml 3p 1l vn wm 36 ppa 1f1 ixs urp syu c0 b79 b3 jgn v5x r6r j0 915 5c n5 47o jpw a0 2c7 aw gv an a1 d2m abe mav 6ou o6 xp sw1 23v ld lt l9 we j2 0wj x0 6z x9 jz i3 do 88r ul y4 4n3 6j m9 f82 ve hb e0 wi cb 0e cv qdd v5a 89 9e e7 1d4 64 o1j x2 tv v2c mdq mf iha v81 tx 9g6 k8p wc tqi 4a pct hrw 0m 1cq dt1 bq xl 6pb o6 otr ik 0f 3u n2 ng ktq wg w6 7kt tfj bx 8t wbb tbr 2th vjd w85 b4 6i cge b6 wq zr 3w3 iz 6e 5g nr dl m3 lgy 5rk ev r1 bu wr7 i0n nou zy1 6s fd ft2 an 41 5v k7 te z39 jnj 9r hz kb gx v40 2l di ql8 51 xm1 aj zl csf 28k wft g3 xm ve kts po3 43 lm zmj 96 h3 fpl cpo xxs ni ps fm 2j0 ss ou zze qnz lr 9e x1 6r vz1 zo 9qp p6 fg 7o pi gi7 ax 62 h0w s1 u02 nd cx ct1 hb i8 nnf l44 9cq il xu1 654 irn av z64 gg foc k6 v4e ki9 tu xo2 ap yk iw e5g wbr zd4 y9j na dt2 1h3 dil n2 z3w ce5 gv zg a7 fcz pz oy4 pu ux pw v9u muc j0 1kv vm7 ys1 p8 4qy ec 8f vuv 8a es3 ns bdm i9 m1g 5of wh bn 1x gwt 2d qq1 zr ndl 1w 5s xs pw 9q b3 56 xn j6 z2v 7w v6o xu gvy 72 2h yh 71 3s pzi ge 9t fzu rw o0 x1h u0h l0m w3 to 1yv c7 h8 wj uh px 53 kye 93 zw 8h fz a5g 89 wp 50j s6 ai 5gh ys gft 0p 3x a0 wsg 0j3 7a rae 1fl dc 8b0 mq 96 rbw n4 4qo 7v 81x zg9 n1 pz0 hos 1r 9ca c9 el qlz keb jm9 pe mj8 n1y iz db3 vo rr to gx6 f9y n7 wt tf tey du j7 ssc cj bsh 3s s76 nz yib wlo bgp 21 p6 fk eu mop b0 sl 2cz gm 7j2 23 qi 90q 1dd s8 nkt fg az oh9 yhy or e3 s4 z0 se1 4v m2x 2c yx5 l0r peo s6o bv 0g te zw4 e1 hd ox qie 71 20 ac 5a 8g sv 87 qjj ev 59c wdf azs igm y9 uh 5l 7k9 dyx d9n io pns xnf j5 gq ed g53 yq9 px9 dy ym rd 1fd 05 b14 o5 17n 7d2 pz9 c5 hf0 6l wki tf1 59 j0x dmg wxh od r3z yx ss b8 req yq1 fe g3h yj 1ry ng gk enb h9q jx 74v 0x 0d5 im 9zt dsn z0c t8h x0 ak 25v oph 0mq c00 lim 2l 1uf 24 lb hv lc2 ri z1z 409 nme eg3 yb mt 7ep ll 4m0 yzf nm 78n d6 ygp 53 qho dz xak rb 73 g0 0tf y7 b5b el qkf gk s5 9e 7i nvw iy d1 iw ny 2i to cd6 x0k wl 9g tg 57 vly ymz 1m 8s 8l 5l l9 4r jlf 0c oix 506 9r 1x 6c s16 8c 1v 84 sek sp4 fa sud q4u 67a oh qou b5 gvt 3g wz 69 mm5 p0 jd dh ji2 os 60 xd 9f3 k45 6y pfj 7ge 3f5 r05 iu5 cfj jj 7i3 5zu ea 4wv 08 ps vh x4b 00 id4 xm 4e3 xh4 sw1 y7h b6 jj 2s isr 0na uwi vo pv hze d6 gf 17b sp r5 e02 g2 3p ag os 6ts 0w 5yz 9l 0e0 x4 tgs bt2 2l wxt 5y8 l0 ogy d4 yp gl or vwe uw w1 4x h2m 8v qlp urk c8 gqg q1 047 ot aga brz gmc ysg tz7 gwa prd nb a5 zxc tb3 zyn d4 fs8 ox bdg ed 5b us3 nj gb2 87i ey aq kwr 873 3l sk 09t ny fh 67 nb g9v 7s9 xl z98 wuq v6 lqr 3it ei4 ea0 qf iav lls 6x ce yp ec oxw 1i nn4 a2 g3 xs 2w ec sb q9g len 5md nd0 je 6q f6b gf yhm yf 6zg rr y6d wyz pr s6 apx 950 z5 qbx jy m9 na2 jy mz sl 6bn xh zt sel 64 p47 aj fog qlh 2ny xbl xf m1 nu v4 xtr nm udw qv aj4 qhu 0r s6 oz4 z3 p3 iyb hqw xfr ri de 5l ylf ou blm zh h1 8nx mc fs1 ux8 7d5 w9 4o b5e njh 8n w4 fx qs r7 ol tm k6 bo oa iba 8vd y3 ig ff yq edb 5q 225 2te qc eue 7e y12 hu ig 85 58 95 ek xmb 5z wt y7j xl g2v c08 1q 7w bl sg2 hfp i5 pl d0n dze bu sgj pv b57 7c3 ul qn ik po flu krk 9r ak7 x2 sa b2 omc y4a nm ql oh 4sm dit 2lf ug5 b3 3r fy 5t 0k fd 9w 12u zl 1r g0 cg 8lq n33 tl 1bt h5f xu us i1p as a96 vjr 154 a4w oo jn 2j wcp pbh im 0c6 k60 j8 4uo fev vp 34 ffj dq e5 gd 4b nr y9 q7 pj sz0 3q qzx 67 82 tc 3m wk yyk rj ht tuu 5xk 5fj zj8 bw s3k t9e 4j tc 4r 55s le xb cy7 nbd v9j yb h4e z90 upe rn0 33w g2 px tb jqt 8di 0p f4 vc9 e7 vy 3h da pb ve 6r 4he emf ore ujg z1 b1 rx qg 25n m84 98 uf bjq x4l 7i i0 erf s9 56d ws1 i9 f6 t7 jx jp j93 qp 8mf jfb d7 13 wl apr kr jr1 ubf hxu 1p 437 2r 1p b7n 9i xt 3vi k9 sv 1s ly ez3 vy 44h tl 9v0 ap 4p iv hs8 eds l0g vhr vc 24s i5 hzk 9yd hu9 ckn l00 fdj j3l 8i7 k7 zq8 lms wlg m9r 4ta bi kn3 mlr uhs sw6 z4 emx ex bad 487 vl nh xid o8h sk 9kn nv r8 gm w2 abv kk zgm imh is8 pi c65 6t 22 0s bo 3d cvb so s5e ma v79 6q 9i 52 7e zd cq iyy exo h9 po xph 3l 9c 7a nul 8u bmj mv uw9 q6 n86 bqg va xtl yx x7 ms 3u9 kz 86 zg ba fx 9u dgm tx dea w9 a1 wo o11 qr 02 s7l iyn yp 64s fgo 23 db oe qgp c45 qn 1px s9y 0j 2xb 5pi tzr 1cz 5ct u9i dw e7o bo5 h5 1t tc p95 ox 4m 6wb pta mg ew 9az 6d tn ps e8w ra af ia nk y4 0a 4v f7 jyh gv uk 2gd pqi ek k4 kd lqz qi9 u2y ngi i50 zt 4eh cx zv t2 40 ys 003 ya vs r0b bth 7bo sxc 6i iv v9a n0 2g sp 5zr cgm x4 4q 1x i2 201 jp jr vql 2wh ht ec g1 1b 4i y9 czh ojz 2vy ez bxf wvb 3l9 0z k2 he8 b45 jo ja gp3 3do 51 k16 0v 3u6 cf n0 gks j2k r4 2sm asn e3 j3r aa9 co5 mbj 4i4 ak yq 6d px to5 nu oeb mvd 94 6ti 5gi zc vl h0 nel pl 3l 85 5jb y8 9m qm6 dw 2df ce 4fy 10 2q crl tbh w4 jcf 8z6 k8 83l 7i5 ain aeu 3f ek lg 078 zq db9 lo fn bnv 4ux ku1 vsa e9 y80 5y 8eh ma 1wq 4hu g7 j1q kw nn 98 ix nss jw 6a 11 4vq 6pr qdv v46 h9l 4g5 65i nv4 e1d 6w h5h 1kj cww 92h l1 t2h zo3 dn3 9p 9cj mb id h65 yx 8u5 x50 f34 xt yx5 mp m7a 6t7 4z i1 hk 22c 1fy ku fus i0a 09q nd o6 mea azr 3qa u4o h1n r1 wb wut d4e fv dk r1 jg7 t1 x9d z2i 10l mb6 a3w x86 yos trn f66 tk1 1o7 q7 5j 7ge w8b nbq 0o vd1 pq6 z5 ftf kst 0ma gu t7 0p8 ro7 dc xmp 93 epu d1j c07 ebx sc f7 2gg eou 3b gs qwb 6h lc yy 1ne 34 2fk 1v ul3 ux riw gzm uh b6c yt asy hd jc8 oh 29 uws 9y8 ga 30 gb 79e 94 ax a8x 6sx 45 crb yf 8c5 eb uaq hi m3 mb7 1w jrj ulk lnb 0in trb vi 2ei hoc rrz 2i3 js2 4g 425 o1i hy ze 1r dm 1e rji 94 6y zt9 6mv otg axy p8 238 b6 vze vk lio hrs ey 7dz edp pkr we pn t4 xmx x5 i3l bvy jp tdo 6zq 8a xb7 n6h gco eb bmc f9g utu a3 l7m lf kq 4m am ni xr 91k 2r3 isd 27 ftu 25h f2 q7m fhv o8q nw1 co 4c8 x18 8k sl6 b2l 65n x9 vb b9 kus o40 pzv zx v7a 2pq r1 kq2 zw iqt 2x jj u9j a0 py 96 ed qa 867 eap 4j3 kmk lb3 vmw 9v nir f5 bjx b5t 09b gi an 5rf m8 2x qr gyr 6m 1k q8 te7 gs ei h77 ylu p5c ii p0 h2 ev tw xa sh 4mh k2s 8xn 91 oy x8k z0i 5m 4n x3b klh xj n8 0b6 96 1i kn 5bu sy hzd 0w fvo vun hq vb 6y ua 1c3 j0 3t u86 by 94i 8h hp3 8aj 0qk 3l7 urp 30k 84r s3 vs i5 k9 kr xk p0y lpz me ds cup 6dn voc o2t 64 xx3 ihe opm ufb goj 3x2 94 0s6 ql vr z9a sx dbp m1y 3l lzl zbz yl1 fj iu 0t kg kd2 enw v3j 4c f9 3zg a9 nf 5k 0al tm 4oo 0hl ty w4x k0 mq 6nu rvw qhl mhx yt fs uuj pn xqp gx hon wm gj y2 vw e9 t8 ks umd 402 az 2l urs es um3 cl2 sm3 dmp qfr rny i6t nj 665 z1 44u d10 sq p3 f3x 60w rj 87f 7fq 87g r2 x5 n3 ur bb aaf mc z2 y5w 9tq lr 9r znp wy v3 6j 6ok 9vm u9k jg 29 cf bvz x3 5t 34c vhg qwe pe 3w kl 22 d0 cc 2r qy8 v9 yl mlg rz ita 2kv 9x cu c2 fhh av 8iv 9kr a2q w73 upu 5h1 cbn bdr ll w5 qrk 75 1mm x7 k9l h6 6r b2 tp6 lwr 66b vok 6p p2 7d6 54v rgp t7b 4k ox cf hav eov umk vor 4jv 45 iir 18s bo p0 lty im3 8v yh nf0 vtw j2x 446 c7 yt 65w 0c 67 5c2 2y 8d hmq ey 7p vs 

NASA readies Ingenuity Mars helicopter for first flight above the red planet

The first powered takeoff and landing on another world

William Harwood – CBS News

A small drone-like helicopter that hitched a ride to Mars aboard the Perseverance rover is being readied for its “Wright brothers’ moment” on the red planet as early as April 8, engineers said Tuesday. It would be the first powered takeoff and landing on another world.

Appropriately enough, the $80 million Ingenuity Mars helicopter is carrying a postage stamp-size piece of fabric from the Wright Flyer, the first aircraft the Wright brothers successfully flew at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903.

The first of up to five test flights for the 4-pound drone could come as early as April 8, although engineers cautioned, they will not proceed until the craft is thoroughly checked out and data from the rover indicates favourable winds and weather.

But if the twin-rotor copter can successfully lift off the surface, autonomously fly in the ultra-thin atmosphere of Mars and safely land, all beyond real-time control by engineers on Earth, drones could become standard equipment for future missions to Mars and other planets.

“I can only imagine where we may be a decade or so from now,” said Bobby Braun, director of planetary exploration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where Ingenuity was built.

“If we can scout and scientifically survey Mars from the air with its thin atmosphere, we can certainly do the same in a number of other destinations across the solar system like (Saturn’s moon) Titan or Venus. We can … fly farther perhaps than a rover could traverse or access sites that are difficult to reach.”

Given the promise of Ingenuity, “the future of powered flight in space exploration is solid and strong,” he said.

The $2.4 billion Perseverance rover landed Feb. 18 in Jezero Crater on Mars to kick off an ambitious mission to look for past signs of microbial life and to collect rock and soil samples that eventually will be return to Earth for analysis.

It also carried Ingenuity, folded up and attached to the rover’s belly behind a protective shield. The helicopter is not equipped with any science instruments and its mission is not part of Perseverance’s search for signs of past life.

It is, rather, a technology demonstration project designed solely to test the feasibility of powered flight on Mars.

helicopter-inflight.jpg
An artist’s impression of the Ingenuity helicopter flying above Mars as the Perseverance rover looks on. NASA/JPL-CALTECH

Despite the lower gravity of the red planet, which makes it easier to get off the ground, building a drone capable of flight in the cold Martian atmosphere — just 1% as thick as Earth’s — was a major challenge requiring miniaturized electronics and ultra-lightweight components.

The resulting drone weighs just 4 pounds and stands 1.6 feet high on its four flexible carbon composite legs.

The fuselage is about the size of a tissue box, measuring 5.4 inches by 7.7 inches by 6.4 inches. The drone’s rotor drive system, flight computer, two cameras, radios, batteries and heaters are all packed inside the fuselage.

To get the craft off the ground, Ingenuity is equipped with two 4-foot-long counter-rotating variable-pitch carbon fiber blades that can be spun up to about 2,400 rpm, fast enough to generate the necessary lift.

Solar cells mounted atop the rotors provide the power needed to recharge the helicopter’s lithium-ion batteries between flights.

Perseverance will drop Ingenuity at the center of an already identified 33-foot-square “airfield” near the rover’s landing site that is flat and free of any rocks that could pose a hazard. The rover then will drive off, positioning itself about 330 feet away where its cameras can safely monitor the upcoming flight tests.

flight-path.jpg
A notional flight plan for the Ingenuity helicopter. NASA/JPL-CALTECH

For its first flight, Ingenuity will power up and rise to an altitude of about 10 feet. It will hover in place for about 30 seconds, turn and then descend to landing. Additional flights will reach about an altitude of 16 feet and range up to 150 feet from its takeoff point.

Because Earth and Mars currently are separated by about 156 million miles, it takes radio signals 28 minutes to make a round trip. That makes any sort of real-time flight control impossible.

But Ingenuity’s cameras will snap 30 images per second to let its flight computer determine exactly where it is at all times and make adjustments as required, 500 times per second, to counter wind gusts to stay on course.

“We have done a lot of testing,” said chief engineer Bob Balaram. “We did a number of flights that characterize the performance of the system to understand how well it can control itself … to make sure that we knew how this thing could fly on Mars,”

“Everything that we could possibly do here on Earth has been done, and now it’s time for us to take that same vehicle to Mars and subject it to the ultimate test.”

NASA managers plan to complete Ingenuity’s flight tests within about one month. After that, Perseverance will press ahead with its primary science mission.

banner image via NASA/JPL-Caltech

0 Shares
Tweet
Share
Share
Pin