The Perseverance rover successfully unloaded Ingeniuty, a helicopter drone, to the Red Planet surface on April 3. It should be the first vehicle that will make a controlled flight in the atmosphere of the Red Planet.

Ingeniuty unloaded on the Red Planet surface

During the journey to Red Planet, Ingeniuty was attached to the bottom of Perseverance. After a successful landing, the rover dropped the protective cover and headed for a patch of flat terrain, selected by the mission as the “airfield”. Upon reaching it, the rover lowered the drone to the surface and then headed for the observation point for the attempted takeoff.

Ingeniuty is currently recharging its batteries and scientists are analyzing its telemetry. Most of all, they are concerned about how the electronics of the vehicle will cope with the conditions of the Martian night. Judging by the information available, so far there have been no problems with this.

Ingeniuty’s first flight is scheduled for April 11. The drone will need to r I s e to a height of 3 m, hover in this position for 30 s e c o n d s, then descend to the surface. If successful, this test will be followed by new, longer flights to higher altitudes.

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