Could NASA be fake in any way?

Alien selfie before a historic flight over the Martian surface

If the planned schedule holds, a historic event is imminent this Sunday: On April 11, the mini helicopter Ingenuity is to take off from the surface of Mars and thus complete the first flight of an aircraft on another planet. The small but extremely powerful drone landed on the red planet on February 18 as part of the NASA Mars 2020 mission together with the rover Perseveranc. A few days ago Perseveranc put the helicopter down and drove a few meters.

The US space agency compares the flight with that of the Wright brothers: On December 17, 1903, the two pioneers in North Carolina took off in a motorized airplane for the first time in human history. The machine was in the air for twelve seconds. The 37 meters covered would go down in history.

Image from 62 individual shots

Shortly before the first flight on Mars, Perseverance took a selfie with Ingenuity. The image is a combination of 62 individual shots taken by the Watson camera at the end of Perseverance's moving robotic arm. Ingenuity can be seen a little further to the left behind the rover.

The helicopter, which weighs around 1.8 kilograms, will rise to a height of around three meters in its first test flight, hover there for thirty seconds and then land again on the surface of Mars. The helicopter equipped with lithium-ion batteries could make several flight attempts over the course of a month, according to NASA.

Extreme conditions

However, the helicopter has to defy extreme conditions: On the one hand, it is up to minus 90 degrees Celsius at night on Mars (which the helicopter should, however, tolerate well) - but above all, the atmosphere is much thinner than on Earth. In order to rise into the barely available air, the Ingenuity rotors have to accelerate to 2,537 revolutions per minute.

Because although the gravitational pull of Mars is only about a third as strong as that of Earth, the density of the atmosphere on the surface is only one percent in comparison. Ingenuity draws the energy for this effort from its solar cell-fed battery.

Wright Flyer on Mars

The NASA engineers have hidden something special under these solar cells: a small piece of cloth from the Wright brothers' Wright Flyer is attached to a cable. The two were not only involved in the first motorized flight on earth. You will also indirectly take part in the maiden flight on Mars. (tberg, red, 9.4.2021)