The missions to Mars this year continue to bring news. This time, a new photo shocks NASA fans. It was captured by a camera under the Perseverance rover on Mars. It’s the Ingenuity plane that’s still folded up. It is the first helicopter to be taken to another world. The picture was Disseminated through the Mission’s Twitter account. Once the protective cover of the device had been loosened from Perseverance’s belly.
Ingenuity is kept on the side, folded and locked in its compartment. This week the rover is supposed to go to the designated “heliport” point. They are saved for a complex maneuver. There, Ingenuity will run the “Reverse Origami” program to set up and prepare for the flight.
The helicopter had been sending status reports to control on Earth two days after the mission arrived on February 18 in Jezero Crater. Since then he has been charging batteries with electricity from the rover.
The square fuselage of the helicopter is approximately 20 by 16 by 14 centimeters. But when you think outside the box, there are plenty of other important things. There is an antenna, solar panel, landing legs and two rotors that are 1.2 meters wide, which makes stowing and setting up the helicopter a challenge. The entire package weighs around 2 kilograms.
Operation of the rover begins with the release of a locking mechanism that holds the helicopter in place. Then a pyrotechnic cable cutter is fired. This allows Ingenuity to rotate from its horizontal position.
It will be 67 inches from the path to the floor. A small electric motor pulls the arm until it clicks, bringing the helicopter body with two of its spring-loaded landing legs completely upright. Another pyrotechnic ignition releases the other legs.
The first helicopter to be taken to another world will fly the last 13 centimeters to the ground. Once confirmed that it is okay, Perseverance will be asked to move away so the helicopter can recharge its batteries using its solar panel. And begin your majestic journey.