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Ingenuity helicopter phones home from Mars

February 20, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.7%. 1 min read.

The Ingenuity helicopter, sidekick and traveling companion to NASA's Perseverance rover, has checked in with a good report and is "operating as expected," according to the agency. It will be the first helicopter to fly on another planet.

(CNN)The Ingenuity helicopter, sidekick and traveling companion of NASA's Perseverance rover, has checked in with a good report and is "operating as expected," according to the agency.

"Ingenuity, the Mars Helicopter I carry, is working as expected.

"There are two big-ticket items we are looking for in the data: the state of charge of Ingenuity's batteries as well as confirmation the base station is operating as designed, commanding heaters to turn off and on to keep the helicopter's electronics within an expected range," said Tim Canham, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter operations lead at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a statement.

Ingenuity needs to power up and store energy so it can keep itself warm and maintain other vital functions during the cold Martian nights once the rover deposits the helicopter on the red planet's surface.

As long as Ingenuity is attached to Perseverance, the helicopter can give its batteries a boost.

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