NASA’s set to hold a virtual media briefing at 1:30 p.m. EDT (10:30 a.m. PDT) Tuesday tomorrow (March 23) to discuss upcoming activities for the agency’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter. As a teaser, the agency released an image of the Perseverance rover dropping the debris shield that was protecting Ingenuity. The teams operating Ingenuity and NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover have now officially confirmed the flight zone where the helicopter will attempt the first powered, controlled flights on another planet. Read more for a video and additional information.
Once Ingenuity completes its test flights, Perseverance will begin its main tasks: searching for signs of ancient Mars life and collecting samples for future return to Earth. One sight, the 28-mile-wide Jezero crather, may have hosted a large, deep lake and a river delta billions of years ago.
Away goes the debris shield, and here’s our first look at the helicopter. It’s stowed sideways, folded up and locked in place, so there’s some reverse origami to do before I can set it down. First though, I’ll be off to the designated ‘helipad,’ a couple days’ drive from here,” said NASA.