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Ingenuity Helicopter

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

Ingenuity Helicopter:


Context:

NASA’s Ingenuity mini-helicopter has been dropped on the surface of Mars in preparation for its first flight.

  • The helicopter had been fixed to the belly of the Perseverance rover, which touched down on the Red Planet on February 18.

Challenges on martian surface for Ingenuity:

  • Ingenuity will be attempting to fly in an atmosphere that is one percent the density of Earth’s, which makes achieving lift harder — but will be assisted by gravity that is one-third of our planet’s.
  • It will now have to use its own battery to run a vital heater to protect its unshielded electrical components from freezing and cracking during the bitter Martian night.

About Ingenuity Mars Helicopter:

Part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, the small coaxial, drone rotorcraft will serve as a technology demonstrator for the potential use of flying probes on other worlds, with the potential to scout locations of interest and support the future planning of driving routes for Mars rovers.

More About Perseverance:

Launched on July of 2020.

  • A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life.
  • The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust).
  • Perseverance is fueled by electrical power by using heat of plutonium’s radioactive decay.
  • Perseverance will carry a unique instrument, MOXIE or Mars Oxygen ISRU Experiment: which for the first time will manufacture molecular oxygen on Mars using carbon dioxide from the carbon-dioxide-rich atmosphere (ISRU means In Situ Resource Utilization: or the use of local resources to meet human needs or requirements of the spacecraft).

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Missions to Mars.
  2. Perseverance- objectives.
  3. Instruments onboard.
  4. About the UAE’s Hope and China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft.
  5. Pathfinder mission.

Sources: Indian Express.