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ingenuity chopper to mars

19 Jul 2020, 22:02 UTC
ingenuity chopper to mars
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The other day I was on an online panel discussion about all things space and astronomy. A question came up: what’s the name of the helicopter that’s going to Mars at the end of the month? I had to stop and think about it because, to be honest, I really hadn’t heard a name announced. Then, someone else shouted it out: the Ingenuity chopper!

The Mars 2020 Perseverance rover and its chopper Ingenuity. Artist’s concept courtesy NASA/JPL.

The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission to Mars will launch on July 30th, 2020. It will arrive at the Red Planet in mid-February, 2021. The spacecraft is carrying 23 cameras aboard to capture a wide array of images at Jezero Crater. (That’s where it will land). It also has microphones, and seven science instruments. And, then, there’s that mini helicopter.

About Ingenuity Helicopter

The name “Ingenuity” was originally suggested as a mission name. However, the more the science teams thought about it, the more they thought it to be very appropriate for the mini-chopper. And it really is “mini”. Ingenuity only weighs 1.8 kg (about 4 pounds). It has specially designed rotors and blades to operate in the thin Martian atmosphere. Nobody’s ...

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