During the Easter weekend, NASA’s Mars rover left Perseverance of the mini-helicopter Ingenuity at the place where it will soon hopefully carry out the first helicopter flight on Mars.
Ingenuity was separated from Perseverance on April 3 and then began using its own solar panels to provide its system with the heat required so that the components in the helicopter do not freeze to pieces in the cold climate on Mars. NASA later reported that Ingenuity will survive its first night on its own on Mars, which sounds hopeful ahead of the upcoming flight.
On April 7, Ingenuity is scheduled to fold out its rotor blades and the first flight can possibly be completed on April 11. Then NASA hopes that the approximately 1.8 kilogram heavy helicopter will take off about three meters and then land again. If this goes as planned, it is intended that the helicopter will also move a bit during flights that take place later. Below you can check out an illustration of what it might look like.
Below is also a clip from NASA where you describe Ingenuity’s mission in more detail, which you also write about:
“As a technology demonstration, Ingenuity is testing a new capability for the first time: showing controlled flight is possible in the very thin Martian atmosphere. If successful, Ingenuity could lead to an aerial dimension to space exploration, aiding both robots and humans in the future.”