The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA)’s Mars copter could make its first flight over the fourth planet of the universe on Monday.
As per reports, the American space agency said, following a delay of more than a week due to a possible technical issue.
The Ingenuity’s trip will mark the first-ever powered, controlled flight on another planet, and will help NASA reap invaluable data about the conditions on the red planet.
“NASA is targeting no earlier than Monday, April 19, for the first flight of its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter,” the space agency reported Saturday.
Data will return to Earth “a few hours following the autonomous flight,” which would take off at approximately 3:30 am (0730 GMT), NASA said.
It is a 1.8kg helicopter that traveled to Mars inside NASA’s Perseverance rover, which landed in February 2021.
Earlier, Bob Balaram, Mars Helicopter Project chief engineer had written in an update, “This heater keeps the interior at about 45 degrees F (7 degrees Celsius) through the bitter cold of the Martian night, where temperatures can drop to as low as -130F (-90 degrees Celsius).”
“That comfortably protects key components such as the battery and some of the sensitive electronics from harm at very cold temperatures.”
Previously, NASA had successfully landed its Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars.
The American agency has landed the rover in a deep crater near the planet’s equator named Jezero.
“The good news is the spacecraft, I think, is in great shape,” said Matt Wallace, the mission’s deputy project manager.