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Tiny Mars helicopter set for first flight Sunday

Tiny Mars helicopter set for first flight Sunday

Science
April 9 (UPI) -- NASA's plan to fly a helicopter on Mars comes to fruition Sunday with an attempted 40-second climb to just 10 feet, but agency officials say they hope to make bolder efforts in the next few weeks. "We'll be going higher and further," MiMi Aung, the space agency's project manager on the helicopter, Ingenuity, said Friday. "By the fifth flight, if we get that far, we are going to take very bold flights and ... it would be unlikely to land safely because we'll start going into unsurveyed areas." Advertisement NASA plans to fly Ingenuity at 10:54 p.m. EDT Sunday, but results won't be available until 4:15 a.m. Monday due to transmission delays between the helicopter, the rover and Earth. A live broadcast of the mission control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,...
Perseverance rover takes selfie with Ingenuity helicopter

Perseverance rover takes selfie with Ingenuity helicopter

Technology
NASA's Perseverance rover has taken a selfie on the Martian surface capturing itself and the Ingenuity helicopter ahead of the first attempt at flight on an alien planet.The image released by NASA was stitched together from dozens of individual snaps from the rover's WATSON camera (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering). It follows the mini-helicopter Ingenuity surviving its first night alone on the Martian surface detached from the Perseverance rover, which NASA hailed as a "major milestone". Image: Perseverance landed on Mars earlier this year. Pic: NASA/JPL-Caltech "The laws of physics may say it's near impossible to fly on Mars, but actually flying a heavier-than-air vehicle on the red planet is much harder ...
Mars helicopter Ingenuity performs well before first flight

Mars helicopter Ingenuity performs well before first flight

Science
April 7 (UPI) -- NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity, the first powered aircraft on another planet, is free of the Perseverance rover that carried it and appears to be functioning well ahead of its first flight on Sunday, the space agency said. NASA plans to broadcast the results of that first flight at 3:30 a.m. EDT Monday after the helicopter transmits data and images to Perseverance, which will send them back to Earth. Advertisement The helicopter detached from the rover's underbelly Saturday and survived subzero temperatures with its own heaters, which NASA said was "a major milestone" in an announcement Tuesday. The 4-pound rover uses solar panels to charge its batteries and keep delicate electronics safe from extreme cold that can reach 130 degrees F below zero. "So far, everything ha...
Mars helicopter Ingenuity could usher in new era of exploration

Mars helicopter Ingenuity could usher in new era of exploration

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., March 22 (UPI) -- NASA's plan to fly a helicopter on Mars for the first time in a few weeks could start a new era of interplanetary exploration like the space agency's little Sojourner rover did in the 1990s, according to several experts. The Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, will be dropped from the Perseverance rover soon, but NASA hasn't determined the exact date. The rover ejected a shield that covered the helicopter over the weekend. Advertisement Ingenuity is purely a demonstration like Sojourner was, but it will provide images of the surface around the Perseverance rover. Depending on its success, NASA may be able to use helicopters to explore Mars faster, said Robert Zubrin, founder and president of the non-profit Mars Society, which advocates for Martian exploration. "R...
French billionaire Olivier Dassault dies in helicopter crash

French billionaire Olivier Dassault dies in helicopter crash

World
March 8 (UPI) -- French billionaire and politician Olivier Dassault has died, France's President Emmanuel Macron said. He was 69 years old. In a tweet on Sunday, Macron called the member of parliament's sudden death "a great loss" for the country. Advertisement "Olivier Dassault loved France," Macron said. "Captain of industry, deputy local elected official, reserve commander in the air force: during his life, he never ceased to serve our country." Dassault died Sunday evening when his helicopter crashed shortly after takeoff from near Deauville in Normandy where he owned a vacation home, French newspaper Le Figaro reported. Le Figaro is a subsidiary of the Dassault Group, which was led by Olivier's father, Serge Dassault, who died in 2017. Delphine Mienniel, the prosecutor of the Republ...