NASA’s Witty micro-helicopter, which was originally intended to fly only 5 times on Mars, has now arrived on Mars for more than a year, and recently completed its 21st flight, and the parts are still in excellent condition.
In February 2021, NASA’s Ingenuity will land on Mars’ Jezero crater with the Perseverance rover on a technology demonstration mission. The density is only 1% of the atmospheric density at the sea level of the earth), and it can still rely on the high-speed rotation of the rotor (about 2,400 revolutions per minute) to complete the feat of controllable power flight on the surface of other planets.
According to the plan, Wisdom only needs to complete 5 flight drills with different distances, speeds, and altitudes. Since there is no previous flight experience, NASA engineers are prepared that Wisdom may “kill” in these flights. Thinking that the Wit is in very good condition, not only did it successfully complete 5 flights, but the team assessed that the Wit could even continue to fly, and NASA quickly approved the extension of the mission.
So nearly a year after its maiden flight at 3:34 a.m. EDT (12:33 p.m. Mars time) on April 19th, Wit has flown again and again, like a reconnaissance plane leading the way in front of Perseverance, cooperating to explore and land Point South and Southwest Regional Terrain.
On March 12, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted that the rover had completed its 21st mission, flying 370 meters at a speed of 3.85 meters per second, with a stay in the air for 129.2 seconds.
At present, the total flight mileage of the helicopter is more than 4.6 kilometers. NASA hopes to send the Wit to the delta sedimentary terrain outside the impact crater in the next few weeks; NASA also pointed out that the Wit has not shown any signs of wear and tear after flying on Mars for nearly a year, and the helicopter itself has no signs of wear and tear. What consumable parts limit life, and there are currently no issues preventing Wit from continuing to explore Mars.