Perseverance rover releases debris shield covering Ingenuity Mars helicopter

Yesterday, NASA’s Perseverance rover released the debris shield which protected the Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity. This marks the beginning of the deployment for Ingenuity; which is expected to take 10 Martian days (sols). The next major step in the process will be Perseverance driving to the center of the helipad which has been selected.

Once Perseverance reaches the center of the 10-foot by 10-foot helipad, it will unlock the Mars Helicopter delivery system which has held Ingenuity in place. Then Ingenuity will be rotated into a vertical position. The two landing legs on Ingenuity which are folded up then will be deployed into place. Perseverance will wait, charging the batteries on Ingenuity until they reach 100% before dropping it onto the Martian surface.

The First Flight

Given the rough environment on the surface of Mars, the first flight of Ingenuity will take place at 11 am local time. This is when the winds will be at their lightest. Similar to a rocket, airplane,…