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Deployment process of Ingenuity begins

Ingenuity on the bottom of Perseverance
Click for full image.

Ingenuity vertical under Perseverance
Click for full image.

The photo to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, shows the Ingenuity helicopter attached to the base of the Perseverance rover, with its left end (the white box in the middle) now lowered. Previously the helicopter was stored horizontal against the rover’s base.

This photo was taken yesterday by Perseverance’s Watson camera, which provides images of the rover’s bottom and wheels.

The deployment process has only begun. They need to get that white box vertical and on the ground, then unfold the blades that are attached above it. I suspect as the base is dropped the two blades to the left will remain attached to Perseverance, thus partly unfolding them. I also suspect that full deployment of all four blades (the right two blades are what looks like a post with a bulbous end on the right of the base) will not occur until Ingenuity is fully detached and Perseverance has moved away. My error. I mistook the helicopter’s landing legs for its blades. Two of the legs (on the left) appear deployed, while two (on the right) remain in their stored position.

UPDATE: Ingenuity is now vertical, underneath Perseverance, as shown by the second image to the right.

These images are from yesterday, so these are actions that the rover and helicopter are doing autonomously. It appears from later images that the second set of legs began deploying next.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Joe

    Hey Bob, the bulbous elements look to be other two landing legs. The blades appear to be edge on (in two stacks) with an instrument package above them. No matter the orientation, the fact that this is deploying is a good thing. We need more tests like this. Cheap experiments that we can try on Mars (and the moon, Titan, Europa, etc) to find out what works and what doesn’t. The survivors will become the tools in our exploration tool kilt.

  • Joe: Yes, you are right. I have corrected the post.

  • Frank

    Its cool they way they designed the rover to “birth” Ingenuity on the ground. The vehicle remains powered and connected until it drops and goes wireless.

  • Alex Andrite

    Love it !
    In the shade of Perseverance …..
    … “Waiting for the Sun …. waiting … waiting … waiting …”.

  • Joe wrote “Cheap experiments that we can try on Mars . . .” Wikipedia informs that this helicopter has to date run $80M to build, and $5M to ‘operate'(?) [There is a citation]. With cheap experiments like this, I’m not sure we need expensive ones.

    So, so, very cool, though. Getting it to Mars is an achievement in itself. And if it flies, wow!

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