Perseverance's first big job will be to find an airfield


 

On 26 February, the Perseverance rover's eighth Martian day (sol) after landing, mission controllers also completed a software update replacing the program that assisted in its landing with one they will rely on to study the planet.


Perseverance's first big job will be to find an airfield where its little helicopter buddy can take off. Mission controllers received the first status report from the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter attached to the belly of the rover, hours after its landing. Ingenuity will remain attached to the rover for the next several weeks.


Provided Ingenuity survives the frigid Martian nights to come, where temperatures dip to lows of minus 90 degrees Celsius, the mission team will proceed with the first flight of an aircraft on another world. If Ingenuity manages to land successfully and remain operable, NASA may send four successors each building on the success of the last.


These descendants of the Ingenuity rotorcraft can bring an aerial dimension to exploration of Mars.

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