New attempt for first flight of Mars helicopter “Ingenuity

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Weighing about 1.8 kilograms, the “Ingenuity” is expected to climb to an altitude of about three meters in its first test flight.

The first helicopter flight over another planet, which has already been postponed several times, is scheduled to take place today, Monday (6:30 a.m. CEST). According to the US space agency Nasa, however, the test could still be postponed at short notice. The first flight of the small helicopter “Ingenuity”, which landed on Mars aboard the rover “Perseverance” in February, was planned for April 11 and initially postponed to April 14 due to technical problems.

Nasa engineers were currently working on a solution to problems with the helicopter’s computer software, NASA said. However, the helicopter, which runs on lithium-ion batteries, remains basically operational and in good condition, it said. Weighing about 1.8 kilograms, “Ingenuity” is expected to climb to an altitude of about three meters in its first test flight, hover in place for thirty seconds and then land back on the surface of Mars. It would be the first flight of an air vehicle on another planet.

 

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