Watch NASA’s Mars helicopter unfold like a butterfly (video)

The Mars helicopter Ingenuity with all four legs unfolded, as seen by the Perseverance rover on March 30, 2021. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) Then, Perseverance will repel and provide Ingenuity time to charge up its solar batteries. Objective workers will run a series of tests on the helicopter to ensure its prepared to attempt flight.

That flight might take place as quickly as April 8. Prior to then, the little chopper had to unload itself from the tummy of its much bigger companion, the Perseverance rover Since Ingenuity made the long trek to Mars folded, the procedure took a week, but the helicopter is lastly unfurled, with its four landing legs suspended simply above the surface of the Red Planet.
Next, the Perseverance rover will set the helicopter down in what will be the center of Ingenuitys airfield, a 33-foot (10 meters) square area of Mars hand-selected by mission researchers to be as safe as possible for the little airplane.
Related: NASAs Mars helicopter is slowly unfolding below the Perseverance rover.

The Mars helicopter Ingenuity is getting ready for a historical liftoff as NASA tries the first powered, assisted flight on another world.

Ingenuitys first flight is prepared to take the helicopter just 10 feet (3 m) above the Red Planets surface and see the chopper hover for no more than 30 seconds before touching down on the now-unfolded legs.
If all works out, the team behind Ingenuity will have a full Earth month to fly the little helicopter, which Perseverance will watch from a safe range. Then, the mission must pivot to the huge rovers busy science schedule.
Determination is created to search for traces of life on Mars and to cache rock samples for a future mission to carry to Earth.
Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook..