by BERNAMA / pic credit: bbc.com
WASHINGTON – NASA is targeting early Monday for the first flight of its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, reported Xinhua news agency according to NASA.
The helicopter is scheduled to lift off at approximately 3.30am Eastern Day Time on Monday.
It will be the first powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet.
The first flight was originally scheduled on April 11, but the date shifted as engineers worked on preflight checks and a solution to a command sequence issue.
Ingenuity arrived at Mars’ Jezero Crater on Feb 18, attached to the belly of NASA’s Perseverance rover. The helicopter is a technology demonstration with a planned test flight duration of up to 30 Martian days.
The Perseverance rover will provide support during flight operations, taking images, collecting environmental data, and hosting the base station that enables the helicopter to communicate with mission controllers on Earth.