Today is the day. NASA has tested and delayed and checked and updated and patched and checked again and we now have the all clear that the first powered flight on Mars with NASA Ingenuity is set for take off.
The time? 8.15pm AEST! And you can watch it here at the YouTube livestream:
The cute little helicopter has four carbon-fibre blades on two rotors spinning in opposite directions way, way faster than your average helicopter back here at home. It’s not doing any other specific experiments other than to test if we have scienced the shit out of what it takes to fly on Mars.
Today’s flight is nothing fancy. Fly up three metres. Hover for 30 seconds. Land. That’s it. Keep it simple, keep it safe. This is unchartered territory. There’s no spare parts up there.
It’s such a good time of day for Aussies to catch the big moment so tune in online and see if the experiment works. If all goes to plan today there will be four more flights planned for Ingenuity – and eternal glory as that magical ‘first’ to fly on Mars.
UPDATE: Nailed it. That gorgeous little helicopter hovered and landed like nobody’s business. The speed at which we got to see video footage after the telemetry data had confirmed the successful flight was such a bonus.
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