Historic helicopter flight on Mars will probably take place tomorrow. A Norwegian will be operating the rotorcraft

NASA - Ingenuity helicopter - MarsPhoto: NASAJPL-Caltech via AP
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NASA’s mini helicopter Ingenuity might embark on its first flight on Monday, after a week of delays due to a possible technical fault.

“NASA’s target for the first flight with the Ingenuity Mars helicopter is no earlier than Monday, April 19,” a statement from the agency notes.

The flight could take place at approximately 9:30 AM on Monday Norwegian time. Data from the flight can then be expected to arrive a few hours later.

If the flight is carried out according to plan, NASA will hold a briefing later on Monday at 8:00 PM Norwegian time.

The mini helicopter was supposed to take off on its first flight on Sunday, April 11. The date was then postponed to April 14. Finally, NASA picked Monday, April 19, as the new date.

Technical issues

The reason for the postponement was that a possible technical problem with a rotor was discovered during a test. A new test later showed that the error had been corrected.

The helicopter arrived on Mars with the rover Perseverance in February. It weighs 1.8 kilos and is remotely controlled from the ground by, among others, the Norwegian Håvard Fjær Grip in NASA.

Since the distance between the two planets means that it takes several minutes for the signals to arrive, Grip will not be able to control the helicopter in real-time.

“The only criterion for success for us is whether we manage to fly on Mars for the first time in history. We believe there is a high probability of making it happen,” Grip told NTB last year.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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