Perseverance rover’s Ingenuity mini-chopper sends positive status report from Mars

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Ingenuity, the mini-helicopter attached to NASA‘s Perseverance Mars rover, has sent its first status update to Earth in a milestone ahead of the first attempt at powered flight on the Red Planet.

Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California said on Saturday that the downlink from Ingenuity confirmed that the helicopter and its base station are operating as expected.

It will likely be at 30 to 60 days before any attempt is made to deploy Ingenuity on the Martian surface and attempt flight. But mission controllers celebrated the confirmation that Ingenuity survived Thursday’s landing at Jezero Crater attached to the belly of Perseverance.

‘There are two big-ticket items we are looking for in the data: the state of charge of Ingenuity’s batteries as well…

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