Mars helicopter Ingenuity has successfully launched on Monday. NASA’s small chopper is carrying the Perseverance rover to the Red Planet. For the 12th time, the little helicopter has made it.
According to NASA’s plan, Ingenuity is going to explore a region called South Séítah. The current reconnaissance is the “next big challenging sortie,” says the official statement.
“Flying over Séítah South carries substantial risk because of the varied terrain. When we choose to accept the risks associated with such a flight, it is because of the correspondingly high rewards. Knowing that we have the opportunity to help the Perseverance team with science planning by providing unique aerial footage is all the motivation needed,” Ingenuity scientists wrote in the plan.
Compared to the previous missions, this big challenging sortie saw the small chopper make a round trip. Therefore, it was the perfect machine for this mission. Despite its larger companion, the small Mars helicopter was the eyes of the flight while also scouting for information. The little chopper is the perfect match for the space rover.
Together with the helicopter, the Perseverance’s science team will decide which features in the region is worthy of on-land exploration. However, the mission is not without risk for both machines. Flying over the region is dangerous to the tiny Mars helicopter, while on-land exploration risks the rover.
Scientists will determine which rocks are worthy of further exploration based on the ten or so colour photographs and the stereo scene that the small chopper will capture. This sortie is quite important for the Perseverance’s team as the first mission failed to collect any rock. However, the team is now attempting to pick a few rocks for further studies.
Currently, Ingenuity has made almost 1.2 nautical miles in extraterrestrial space, and the team announced that all systems are green. So far, this mission looks very promising.