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NASA Postponed The First Helicopter Flight On Mars To April 11, The Data Will Arrive On Earth The Next Day

NASA postponed the first flight of the Mars helicopter to April 11, and the data will arrive on Earth the next day

Friday, 2 April 2021

/ by Ella Rose
NASA announced that the first historic flight of its Mars helicopter Ingenuity would be postponed to April 11.

On February 18 this year, the Gizwits successfully landed on Mars along with the NASA Mars rover Perseverance, and is preparing to create the "Mars version of the Wright Brothers Moment", which is the first controlled powered flight on Mars.

Figure: On March 29, 2021, a photo captured by the camera on the SHERLOC instrument on the end of the Perseverance's robotic arm, showing that the Witt was deployed vertically from the abdomen of the rover

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is responsible for the WIT mission, claimed that the helicopter was originally scheduled to take off on April 8, but has now been postponed to April 11. JPL wrote on Twitter: "The Mars Helicopter is preparing to do an unprecedented thing, which is to conduct a controlled powered flight on another planet. The first flight is now set for April 11, and the data will be on April 12. To the earth."

The helicopter under Perseverance has deployed from the abdomen of the rover, preparing for its first flight. On March 21, Perseverance released a protective shield to help the helicopter withstand a dangerous landing through the Martian atmosphere. It will take some time for the witty to deploy and start flying. NASA said in a statement that this requires about six Martian days, and each Martian day is approximately equivalent to 24 hours and 40 minutes on Earth.

On March 21, members of the Perseverance team wrote on Twitter: “The Wise is folded and placed on its side and locked in place, so we need to unfold it before putting it down. But first, We need to go to the designated'helipad', which is a few days away by car."

Once safely deployed on the surface of Mars, the test flight of the Gizwits will soon begin. The mission team hopes to let the drone take off within 30 Mars days (approximately 31 Earth days) after this deployment.

Wit is actually a technical demonstration of NASA, and it is also the first aircraft to conduct test flights on other planets other than Earth. The purpose is to prove that it is possible to fly a controlled-powered aircraft like Wit on other planets.

NASA plans to make several short-distance flights on the Gizwits, and its only additional onboard equipment is the camera. During these flights, Perseverance will also remain on standby and use its camera to capture the entire flight of the Wit.
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