NASA’s Mars copter survives brisk night alone in key pre-flight test – Joey Roulette

Image: NASA / JPL

NASA’s mini Ingenuity helicopter survived its first night all alone on the surface of Mars after getting dropped off by Perseverance on Saturday. Weathering frigid Martian temperatures, the newly deployed rotorcraft passed an important test of independence, giving engineers confidence to proceed with a series of warming-up exercises in preparation for its first flight this weekend.

“That was one of the huge, huge achievements that we’ve been looking forward to, and now we can move on to the rest of the mission,” Teddy Tzanetos, Ingenuity deputy operations lead, said on Monday on a NASA live stream. “And now we’re on our own. We’re a separate spacecraft on Mars on our own energy.”

The four-pound, solar-powered craft arrived on Mars…

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