NASA has great plans regarding the planet Mars, and a whole world is relying on the space agency. As time goes by, the first humans landing on the Red Planet doesn’t represent just another sci-fi scenario anymore. NASA’s Perseverance rover launched last month towards our neighboring planet aims to gather evidence for life existing on the cosmic object in the past.
Along with Perseverance, NASA also appointed the Ingenuity helicopter to lend a helping hand for the mission. The full cargo didn’t reach Mars yet, but that doesn’t stop Ingenuity from performing some maneuvers.
Ingenuity makes a successful flight
What happened was that the helicopter’s six batteries were powered up and charged in space for the first time. Tim Canham, who is the operations lead for Mars Helicopter from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), declared:
This was a big milestone, as it was our first opportunity to turn on Ingenuity and give its electronics a ‘test drive’ since we launched on July 30,
Since everything went by the book, we’ll perform the same activity about every two weeks to maintain an acceptable state of charge.
It was needed for eight hours to charge the batteries to 35% of their full level, and NASA analyzed their performance. The Perseverance rover will arrive on Mars’ surface in February next year in the Jezero crater.
Scientists are hoping that the full mission will represent one huge step for the ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars. Before any humans arrive there, it’s mandatory for scientists to understand the Martian environment as much as possible. In interplanetary space, dangers could be endless – from space radiation to lack of water and oxygen. Therefore, astronomers sure need a lot of training until they get there. Whether NASA will send humans to Mars in the near future or later, any space mission has its great importance.