NASA announced today that it is targeting no earlier than April 8 for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter launch. This will be the first attempt at powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet. Currently, Ingenuity is attached to the belly of NASA’s Perseverance rover, with its graphite composite debris shield deployed, which protected it during landing. Perseverance is making its way to the “airfield” where Ingenuity will attempt to fly. Read more for a video explaining its flight path and additional information.
Once deployed, the helicopter is set to have 30 Martian days, or sols, (31 Earth days) to conduct its test flight campaign if all goes as planned. Since Mars has significantly less gravity (about one-third that of Earth’s), the planet’s surface receives only about half the amount of solar energy that reaches Earth during its daytime, while nighttime temperatures can drop as low as -130° F, possibly resulting in freezing and / or cracking of unprotected electrical components.
- Build a large multi-stage rocket and opening launch control tower with interactive play experience, plus a monorail system to transport astronauts from the tower to the training grounds and rocket!
- Includes 6 LEGO City minifigures: 2 astronauts, 2 scientists, Launch Director, ground crew technician and a robot figure, plus a space telescope, rover with articulated arm and a launchpad
- Rocket standing measures over 16” (42cm) high, 4” (11cm) wide and 2” (6cm) deep Launch Control closed measures over 7” (18cm) high, 5” (13cm) wide and 5” (13cm) deep Launchpad with closed tower arms measures over 9” (24cm) high, 4” (12cm) wide and 4” (12cm) deep Monorail track measures over 3” (8cm) high,14” (36cm) long and 18” (47cm) wide
- 837 pieces – Inspired by NASA astronaut toy for boys and girls aged 7+ and for fans and kids of all ages
- This LEGO City Deep Space Rocket and Launch Control 60228 NASA-inspired gift set makes a great gift for kids and can be built together with all other original LEGO sets and LEGO bricks for more creative play
Every step we have taken since this journey began six years ago has been uncharted territory in the history of aircraft. And while getting deployed to the surface will be a big challenge, surviving that first night on Mars alone, without the rover protecting it and keeping it powered, will be an even bigger one,” said Bob Balaram, Mars Helicopter chief engineer at JPL.