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How to watch the Mars helicopter’s historic 1st flight

9 Apr 2021, 12:01 UTC
How to watch the Mars helicopter’s historic 1st flight
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

In this illustration, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter stands on the red planet’s surface as the Perseverance rover (partially visible on the left) rolls away. Image via NASA/ JPL-Caltech.
NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity has unlocked its two rotor blades as preparations continue for the vehicle’s first flight, due to occur no earlier than this Sunday, April 11, 2021. Ingenuity arrived at Mars on February 18 along with the Perseverance rover, having made the long trek out to the red planet tucked inside the rover’s belly. But as of April 4, the little chopper has parted ways with Perseverance and is now preparing to take to the skies during a month-long test campaign. NASA will livestream the sortie, which viewers can watch via NASA TV. A pre-flight briefing begins today, April 9 at 17 UTC (1 p.m. Eastern).
If Ingenuity’s Sunday flight is successful, it will be the first powered, guided flight on another planet. Expected to follow are a handful of other test flights over a month-long campaign that aims to show that aerial exploration is feasible in Mars thin atmosphere. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California – the facility that manages the helicopter’s activity – wrote in a tweet ...

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