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The photo to the right, taken yesterday, shows Perseverance’s Ingenuity helicopter now vertical with its legs deployed, hanging from the bottom of the rover and ready for placement on the ground.
The next step will be drop Ingenuity those last few inches. Once released Perseverance will quickly drive away, as it will no longer be providing power to the helicopter and will instead be blocking its solar panels from sunlight.
Perseverance will then proceed to its lookout post while engineers check out Ingenuity to make sure all is working.
The targeted flight date remains April 8th.
UPDATE: JPL just announced that it is delaying Ingenuity’s flight to April 11th. The announcement was done by a tweet, so provided no explanation as to why JPL decided to delay three days.
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.
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