It weighs less than two kilograms. The small helicopter Ibdaa was supposed to have completed its three-meter flight on the surface of Mars a long time ago. Due to a technical problem, the first time will not succeed.
The first helicopter flight over another planet has been postponed again.
The US space agency NASA announced on Monday (local time) that a new date should be set for the start of the small “creativity” helicopter, which landed on the “persistent” rover in February on the surface of Mars next week. Previously, April 11 was the earliest possible start date, then it was postponed to April 14 due to technical issues. NASA announced that it is currently working on resolving the helicopter’s software problems. The helicopter is ready to use and is in good condition.
The height of “creativity” is 1.8 kilograms (German: ingenuity) that it rises to a height of about three meters on its first test flight, hovers there for thirty seconds and then lands again on the surface of Mars. It will be the first flight of a plane to another planet. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the “creativity” could make several more flight attempts for about a month.
The helicopter must challenge extreme conditions: on Mars it is cold to minus 90 degrees Celsius at night, the planet’s gravitational force is less and the atmosphere is much thinner. The tiny helicopter was placed in the belly of “perseverance” at the end of February – after 203 days of flight and 472 million kilometers – with a risky maneuver in a dry Martian lake called “Jezero Crater”. Perseverance is to examine this lake, which has a diameter of about 45 kilometers, for the next two years.