Ingenuity drone prepped for release from Perseverance Mars rover #drone #droneday

040221 ingenuity

This is like waiting for a little duckling to hatch. Ingenuity is almost ready to spread its…err rotors. The first attempts should be later this week. Via Astronomy Now:

The 1.8-kilogram (4-pound) dual-rotor drone was carried to Mars with its landing legs folded, nestled to the belly of the rover behind a protective shield. The shield, which protected the drone from rocks kicked up during Perseverance’s landing 18 February, has now been discarded and the landing legs extended as seen in this photograph from one of the rover’s two dozen cameras. Once the drone is safely on the ground, Perseverance will back away, solar cells will charge the copter’s batteries and communications links will be tested. Finally, the twin rotors will be unlocked and the drone will attempt the first in a series of 90-second test flights to determine the feasibility of powered flight in the martian atmosphere.

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