Friday, October 22News That Matters

Tag: Perseverance (Mars Rover)

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Stashes First Mars Rock Sample

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Stashes First Mars Rock Sample

Technology
NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars has confirmed the successful collection of its first rock sample.“One down, a lot more to go!” Kenneth A. Farley, professor of geochemistry at the California Institute of Technology and the mission’s project scientist, said in an email.On Monday night, NASA announced that the rover had sealed the tube that contains the rock core, which is slightly thicker than a pencil, and put it away for safekeeping in its belly. That and other collected samples will be dropped to the ground to be collected by another spacecraft. They will eventually be ferried back to Earth, helping scientists study the mysteries of the red planet in much the same way that lunar samples from the Apollo and Soviet missions helped advance understanding of the moon.For decades, planetary g...
NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover Drills Rock Samples Successfully

NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover Drills Rock Samples Successfully

Technology
This time, the rock did not disappear.After a perplexing failure last month, NASA’s latest Mars rover, Perseverance, was able to drill a sample of rock on Wednesday. The rover took pictures of the rock in the tube and sent the images to Earth so that mission managers could be sure they had not come up empty again. Then Perseverance will seal the collection tube and put it away in its belly.The success, visible in images posted online on Thursday, is most likely a relief to scientists working on the mission.“You can see a beautiful rock core,” Kenneth A. Farley, a professor of geochemistry at the California Institute of Technology and the project scientist for Perseverance, said in an email on Thursday morning.One of the key tasks for Perseverance is to collect rocks and soil that will even...
NASA Mars Helicopter Makes One-Way Flight to New Mission

NASA Mars Helicopter Makes One-Way Flight to New Mission

Technology
This time, NASA’s Mars robotic helicopter Ingenuity did not come back.That was intended.On Friday, Ingenuity, which last month became the first machine to fly like an airplane or a helicopter on another world, took off for the fifth time. It made a successful one-way trip to another flat patch of Mars more than the length of a football field away. The spot where it landed will serve as its base of operations for the next month at least, beginning a new phase of the mission where it will serve as a scout for its larger robotic companion, the Perseverance rover.Ingenuity retraced the course of its previous flight, heading south for 423 feet at an altitude of 16 feet. But instead of turning around, it stopped and climbed higher, to 33 feet, to take some pictures of the area. It then set down,...
NASA’s Mars Helicopter Flies Again and Gets a New Mission

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Flies Again and Gets a New Mission

Technology
Ingenuity, NASA’s little Mars helicopter that could, will get to fly some more.The small flying robot made history a week and a half ago as the first powered aircraft to take off on another world. On Friday, its fourth flight went farther and faster than ever before.That wasn’t the only good news NASA had about the helicopter on Friday.In a news conference earlier in the day, the space agency announced that it was extending Ingenuity’s life by another 30 Martian days, bringing the mission into a new phase. Now that Ingenuity’s engineers have demonstrated that flying in the thin air of Mars is possible, they will explore how it can be used as an aerial scout for its larger robotic companion, the Perseverance rover.“It’s like Ingenuity is graduating from the tech demo phase,” MiMi Aung, the ...
NASA Mars Helicopter Ingenuity Makes Longest and Fastest Flight

NASA Mars Helicopter Ingenuity Makes Longest and Fastest Flight

Technology
NASA’s Mars helicopter went up again, going faster and traveling a total distance that was about the length of an American football field on its third trip through the wispy air of Mars.Like the first two flights, the small experimental flying robot, named Ingenuity, perfectly executed its instructions from Earth. At 1:31 a.m. Eastern time — 12:33 p.m. local Mars time — it lifted 16 feet off the ground, then flew a round-trip distance of 328 feet before landing back where it started.That was about 25 times as far as the second flight flew three days ago. The helicopter reached a top speed of 4.5 miles per hour, and the flight lasted about one minute and 20 seconds.The flight was a test of the helicopter’s navigation system, which visually keeps track of its location by comparing ground fea...
NASA’s Mars Helicopter Ingenuity Takes Second Flight

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Ingenuity Takes Second Flight

Technology
NASA’s engineers already made history on Monday with the 39-second flight of Ingenuity, a small helicopter, in the thin atmosphere on Mars. On Thursday, they added to their success when the experimental vehicle flew higher, longer and riskier.At 5:30 a.m. Eastern time, according to the announced schedule — it was 12:30 p.m. in Jezero crater on Mars — Ingenuity autonomously lifted again off the red surface of Mars, kicking up a cloud of dust as it ascended. Its objective was to reach a height of 16 feet, tilt itself and move seven feet sideways, hover in place and point its color camera in multiple directions, then return toward its starting point to land.The Ingenuity helicopter is a demonstration of a new aerial capability that NASA could use in future years, and it was added to Persevera...
NASA Mars Helicopter’s Flight: Livestream, Date and Time

NASA Mars Helicopter’s Flight: Livestream, Date and Time

Technology
Early on Monday, a robotic helicopter that NASA sent to Mars was scheduled to try to rise a few feet in the air, hover and come back down. With that simple feat, it would become the first machine to fly through the wispy air of the red planet. NASA officials have been likening it to the Wright brothers flight in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, N.C. Never before has something like an airplane or a helicopter taken off on another world.The Mars helicopter, named Ingenuity, traveled from Earth tucked under NASA’s Perseverance rover, which landed in February on the mission to search for signs of ancient life near a dried-up river delta. A couple of weeks ago, Perseverance dropped Ingenuity on a flat Martian plain ahead of the flight tests.Ingenuity is small. Its main body is about the size of a softball w...
NASA’s Mars Helicopter Prepares for Its First Flight

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Prepares for Its First Flight

Technology
Before heading off to search for signs of long ago Martian microbes, NASA’s Perseverance rover will first undertake what may be the most technologically exciting part of its mission: flying a helicopter.Packed under the belly of Perseverance, a car-size robotic vehicle that landed on Mars last month, is Ingenuity, a four-pound mini-helicopter intended to demonstrate that flying on another planet is possible.NASA officials announced on Tuesday that they had selected the site for this demonstration of extraterrestrial hovering — just north of where it landed.“That area naturally needs to be flat,” Håvard Grip, the NASA engineer who serves as the chief pilot for Ingenuity’s flights, said during a news conference on Tuesday, “and it needs to have few obstacles — rocks and the like — that could...