Perseverance: update on launch rehearsal and helicopter


Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

 
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"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs." --San Antonio Express-News

Two news stories today about the launch of the United States’ next Mars rover, Perservance.

First, ULA yesterday successfully completed a dress rehearsal countdown with the Atlas 5 rocket that will launch Perseverance on July 20 at 9:15 am (Eastern)..

The rover will be mounted onto the rocket at the end of this week.

Second, JPL provided this press release describing how Perseverance’s test helicopter Ingenuity will be deployed on the Martian surface, where it will then test to see if such helicopters will work in the Martian atmosphere.

Sixty Martian days (dubbed sols) after landing in Jezero Crater on February 18, Perseverance will find a nice large flat area and deploy the helicopter six sols later. The helicopter will then begin its 30-sol test program. If it is found to work, future rovers will almost certainly be equipped with such helicopters, acting as scouts able to go places the rover cannot.

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5 comments

  • David M. Cook

    I thought some kind of airplane was the hot ticket for doing a scan of Mars‘ surface. Is anybody working on an airplane for Mars right now?

  • David M. Cook: I am unaware of any active and funded project to develop a glider or motorized plane for Mars. NASA has funded design studies in the past, going back to the 1970s, but none have ever gone very far.

    The new computer technology and software related to drones is I think what made Ingenuity practical now.

  • David M. Cook

    So it‘s a quadra-rotor or octo-rotor thing? Not a true ”helicopter“? This is probably the best solution to the critical phases of flight, takeoff & landing.

  • A. Nonymous

    Does it generate lift, or thrust? That’s the determining factor between the two types of VTOL.

  • Chemist

    It appears to be a quad rotor. See:
    https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/

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