Hey Space Placers!
After correcting some software issues https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/status/290/work-progresses-toward-ingenuity-s-first-flight-on-mars/ on its martian Ingenuity helicopter, NASA has announced that Monday, April 19, is its next flight attempt https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/ . Viewers can watch live online starting at 6:15 a.m. EDT.
Ingenuity was originally scheduled for NASA’s historic first ever attempt to fly a helicopter on another planet serval times, the last being on April 14th. But a software issue developed and that attempt was cancelled. The Ingenuity team at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) came up with a software fix, uploaded it to Ingenuity 150 million miles distant on Mars. It took over 14 minutes traveling at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second) to reach the helicopter.
Ingenuity had been successfully deployed from the underbelly of the Perseverance Mars Rover in a series of carefully choreographed actions to release and deploy the helicopter the final few inches to the surface of Mars https://mars.nasa.gov/resources/25792/ingenuitys-complete-deployment/ . This was the final step to become a separate part of the mission after the helicopter’s mother ship, Perseverance, had landed on the Red Planet in February https://wtop.com/the-space-place/2021/02/7-minutes-of-terror-for-mars-perseverance-rover/ .
Aeronautical and space exploration history will be made with Ingenuity’s first flight on another planet. Ingenuity also carries a piece of storied history tucked in its solar panel’s underside - a piece of muslin fabric from the Wright Flyer that made the first flight ever in 1903 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ingenuitys-wright-stuff-a-piece-of-the-wright-flyer-will-soar-on-mars/ .
Read about the development of Ingenuity https://www.airspacemag.com/space/helicopter-dreams-of-mars-180971739/ and how this off planet flight technology is helping farmers https://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2020/ee_4.html?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=NASAspinoff&utm_campaign=NASASocial&linkId=115805888.
Oh, and be sure to tune in for the April 22nd launch attempt for NASA's Crew-2 Mission to the International Space Station. Four astronauts are set for liftoff aboard the Space X Crew Dragon Endeavor spacecraft at 6:11 a.m. EDT from NASA Kennedy Space Center. Watch live https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/coverage-set-for-nasa-s-spacex-crew-2-briefings-events-broadcasts beginning at 2 a.m. EDT.
All in all a busy week for NASA and early rising for those who want to watch live!
Sky Guy in VA