Just when we thought technology has reached its utmost benchmark, it turns out it hasn't! It seems like this is just the beginning and most of us can't stop ourselves from saying out loud - Woah! Is that even possible?
Creating a somewhat similar scenario, recently, NASA's Mars helicopter - Ingenuity - sent its very first postcard back to Earth! It consisted of a low-resolution, colored photo of the Martian surface. Ingenuity captured the colored picture just after the rotorcraft landed on the Mars surface from the bottom of the Perseverance rover on April 3, 2021.
Hope of gaining better outputs from the helicopter
NASA claims that once Ingenuity starts to fly regularly, it's expected to deliver better quality photographs of the red planet's surface. Weighing 4 pounds, the helicopter took its first flight on April 11. However, that primary liftoff was just an experiment of whether Ingenuity can swimmingly take its feet off the ground, drift for about 30 seconds, and then again touchback.
Ingenuity was crafted as a technological prototype to analyze if helicopters and drones could be stationed on other planets. These aerial globetrotters have the capacity to fulfill tasks that rovers and landers can't.
Harvard Grip, chief pilot (NASA) for Ingenuity stated that the whole idea behind this aircraft is to pan out surveys and examinations - taking pictures to look out for the area, establishing future science targets, or even send astronauts on mars. In fact, this helicopter is capable of carrying its scientific instruments to place where you can't get them manually.
Challenges for Ingenuity
As we already know, Mars has a different atmospheric pressure than Earth. Its atmosphere is insanely thin - just 1% of the thickness of Earth's. To catch enough air, the four carbon-fiber blades that are manufactured in Ingenuity's routers have to rotate in opposite directions at 2400 rotations per minute, which is eight times faster than a passenger helicopter back here!
Prior to the liftoff, the scientists at NASA cued ingenuity to examine those blades and make sure the equipment that powers their spin was heated and working well. As Ingenuity prepares for longer flights, the Perseverance Rover is heading to a mark in Jezero Crater from which it can capture an unrestricted view of ingenuity's flights.
Are you guys excited as we are to experience those nerve-wrenching videos?