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NASA extends the mission of the Mars helicopter "Ingenuity"

NASA extends the mission of the Mars helicopter “Ingenuity”

The mini-helicopter is said to be “intelligently” orbiting Mars more than initially planned.

The mission, originally scheduled for about 30 days, was initially extended by 30 days, the US space agency NASA announced at a news conference on Friday. “After this 30-day period we will see where we are,” said NASA manager Lori Clace. “There’s a chance it will go beyond that as well.”

“Intelligence” took off for the first time last week – it was the first flight to fly to another planet. The helicopter, powered by lithium-ion batteries, weighed 1.8 kilograms and then flew twice more – faster than before. A fourth attempt to launch failed early Thursday, but was successfully repeated on Friday as announced by NASA. Several more flights are planned.

The helicopter must cross extreme conditions on Mars: at night, the temperature drops to minus 90 degrees Celsius, which is a challenge for batteries and electronics companies. Due to the thin atmosphere, which is only about one percent denser than that on Earth, “intelligent” rotors must accelerate to 2537 revolutions per minute – many times more than helicopters can reach on Earth. “Intelligence” draws energy for its labor from its battery, which is powered by sunlight.

Mini-helicopter NASA rover “Perseverance” (approximately: endurance in German) at the end of February – after 203 days of flight and 472 million kilometers of travel – “Zero” groove with dangerous maneuver on dry Mars lake. Approximately $ 2.5 billion (approximately 2. 2.2 billion) The rover took eight years to develop and build.

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© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210430-99-422158 / 3