May 16, 2021

NASA’s Mars helicopter ready for pre-flight checkouts

April 5, 2021

Mission controllers plan to unlock the blades on NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter and spin them up to more than 2,000 rpm for a test later this week, a bit of “calisthenics”  before the rotorcraft’s first flight in the atmosphere of Mars as soon as this weekend, the helicopter’s operations lead said Monday.

Perseverance rover’s zoomable camera checks out on Red Planet

April 4, 2021

Scientists have confirmed the first zoomable camera on Mars is in top-top shape since arriving aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover in February, adding a long-distance survey capability to the robot’s scientific toolkit. The camera is now ready to capture high-definition video of the Ingenuity helicopter’s first flight in the Martian atmosphere later this month.

Mars rover deploys Ingenuity helicopter for historic flight

April 4, 2021

NASA’s Perseverance rover released the Ingenuity helicopter onto the surface of Mars Saturday, leaving behind the experimental flying drone to survive on its own power until attempting a historic hop in the Red Planet’s thin carbon dioxide atmosphere around April 11.

China’s Tianwen 1 mission targets mid-May landing on Mars

April 1, 2021

China’s Tianwen 1 spacecraft — in orbit around Mars since February — is scheduled to deploy a descent module to attempt the country’s first landing on the Red Planet in mid-May. Officials plan to share the Mars rover’s scientific data with researchers around the world, a senior Chinese scientist said last week.

Perseverance rover begins steps to deploy Mars helicopter

March 30, 2021

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter is being lowered from the belly of the Perseverance rover this week as ground teams run through a choreographed long-distance command sequence to safely release the $80 million rotorcraft onto the surface of Mars.

NASA primed for historic flight of experimental Mars helicopter

March 26, 2021

NASA’s Perseverance rover will soon release a small rotorcraft onto the surface of Mars and drive a safe distance away to observe a series of historic test flights in the ultra-thin Martian atmosphere, which could begin around April 8, officials said this week.

Launch of asteroid deflection demonstrator slips to November

March 9, 2021

The launch of a NASA spacecraft designed to smash into an asteroid to try out a technique that could protect Earth from threatening space rocks has slipped from July until November, at the earliest, after development delays partially caused by coronavirus-related work slowdowns.

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