APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

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APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:06 am

Image Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars

Explanation: What's the best way to explore Mars? Perhaps there is no single best way, but a newly demonstrated method shows tremendous promise: flight. Powered flight has the promise to search vast regions and scout out particularly interesting areas for more detailed investigation. Yesterday, for the first time, powered flight was demonstrated on Mars by a small helicopter named Ingenuity. In the featured video, Ingenuity is first imaged by the Perseverance rover sitting quietly on the Martian surface. After a few seconds, Ingenuity's long rotors begin to spin, and a few seconds after that -- history is made as Ingenuity actually takes off, hovers for a few seconds, and then lands safely. More tests of Ingenuity's unprecedented ability are planned over the next few months. Flight may help humanity better explore not only Mars, but Saturn's moon Titan over the next few decades.

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RocketRon

Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by RocketRon » Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:18 am

One small step for machines !

And congratulations ...

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by alter-ego » Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:30 am

APOD Robot wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:06 am

More tests of Ingenuity's unprecedented ability are planned over the next few months.
Very, very exciting. I'd love to see an extended mission for testing the copter. However, per plan, operations will cease soon.
INGENUITY MARS HELISCOPTER: FIRST FLIGHT ON MARS wrote:The Ingenuity team has two weeks left in its 30-day window for operations, during which the helicopter may complete up to four more flights. Watch for the next one to occur not earlier than April 22nd. Flight 2 will see Ingenuity reaching an altitude of 5 meters, then flying laterally for 2 meters. On Flight 3, Ingenuity will fly to an altitude of 5 meters before attempting a 50-meter out and back horizontal flight.After that, Perseverance will move on with its packed primary science mission. After April, Ingenuity will come to rest one last time on the surface of Mars in Jezero Crater, a small testament to the first flight on the Red Planet.
What I would give to see the Wright brother's faces after their first powered flight when telling them that a swatch of the their Whopper material would ride along the first powered flight on Mars... then leave during the developing, excessive laughter.
A pessimist is nothing more than an experienced optimist

DL MARTIN

Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by DL MARTIN » Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:59 am

I don't like historic revisionism.

1. The Wright brothers directly controlled the vehicle during elevation from within. To attach a part of that vehicle to a robot and declare equality of accomplishment is wrong.

2. When Neil Armstrong controlled the Eagle's flight path to facilitate an optimal landing on the Moon, that constituted the first flight on a body other than Earth.

3. Please don't split hairs by saying that Armstrong didn't land on a planet.

RocketRon

Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by RocketRon » Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:35 am

Armstrongs 'flight' was different in so many ways its not even comparable.
It was the 'taking off under its own power' that distinguished the Wright Bros flights.
And atmosphere has to come into the equation.

There are a number of earlier claimants to this achievement, the Wrights was the best documented though ?
And glider flights and even hot air balloons achieved flights on earth in quite some numbers, decades and even centuries earlier.
Icarus and Daedalus might even have a claim ? If only they'd submitted the selfie ...

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by rj rl » Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:30 am

That was a rather aggressive landing, was that according to plan?

RocketRon

Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by RocketRon » Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:58 am

Thats why its got springy legs ?
And as any pilot will tell you, if it can still fly afterwards, and you can walk away, it was a good landing.

Maybe the threshhold between flying and falling needs to be tweaked/adjusted a little ...

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by JohnD » Tue Apr 20, 2021 10:41 am

Today's APOD was clincially simple and unadorned.
The version that includes the NASA team monitoring it, and their jubilation afterwrads deserves watching!
And they deserve it!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ia6S1jZmwWc

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:21 pm

They showed the flight on the news yesterday! Nicely done! :D
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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:31 pm

DL MARTIN wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:59 am
I don't like historic revisionism.

1. The Wright brothers directly controlled the vehicle during elevation from within. To attach a part of that vehicle to a robot and declare equality of accomplishment is wrong.
I guess the concept of symbolism is lost on you.
2. When Neil Armstrong controlled the Eagle's flight path to facilitate an optimal landing on the Moon, that constituted the first flight on a body other than Earth.
Your ongoing choice to use an unconventional definition of "flight" is noted.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:35 pm

alter-ego wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:30 am
What I would give to see the Wright brother's faces after their first powered flight when telling them that a swatch of the their Whopper material would ride along the first powered flight on Mars... then leave during the developing, excessive laughter.
I had similar thoughts. Such a range in just over a century. That little helicopter would have bordered on miraculous to the Wrights just flying on Earth, let alone on Mars. (And today, they're toys you can pick up for less than most people earn in a day's work.)

Where will our technology be in another 120 years?
Chris

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SpaceNut425

Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by SpaceNut425 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:39 pm

Why wasn't the recording of the sound of Ingenuity flying released? They've got a microphone on the rover, use it!

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by johnnydeep » Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:10 pm

alter-ego wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:30 am
APOD Robot wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:06 am

More tests of Ingenuity's unprecedented ability are planned over the next few months.
Very, very exciting. I'd love to see an extended mission for testing the copter. However, per plan, operations will cease soon.
INGENUITY MARS HELISCOPTER: FIRST FLIGHT ON MARS wrote:The Ingenuity team has two weeks left in its 30-day window for operations, during which the helicopter may complete up to four more flights. Watch for the next one to occur not earlier than April 22nd. Flight 2 will see Ingenuity reaching an altitude of 5 meters, then flying laterally for 2 meters. On Flight 3, Ingenuity will fly to an altitude of 5 meters before attempting a 50-meter out and back horizontal flight.After that, Perseverance will move on with its packed primary science mission. After April, Ingenuity will come to rest one last time on the surface of Mars in Jezero Crater, a small testament to the first flight on the Red Planet.
What I would give to see the Wright brother's faces after their first powered flight when telling them that a swatch of the their Whopper material would ride along the first powered flight on Mars... then leave during the developing, excessive laughter.
So, does the 'copter have to cease operations solely because when Perseverance "moves on" it will no longer be able to communicate with Ingenuity? Otherwise, I would think that Ingenuity's hardware could still be operable long after the 30-day operations window, much like most other NASA hardware has greatly exceeded their nominal mission length.
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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by neufer » Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:52 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:35 pm
alter-ego wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:30 am

What I would give to see the Wright brother's faces after their first powered flight when telling them that a swatch of the their Whopper material would ride along the first powered flight on Mars... then leave during the developing, excessive laughter.
I had similar thoughts. Such a range in just over a century. That little helicopter would have bordered on miraculous to the Wrights just flying on Earth, let alone on Mars. (And today, they're toys you can pick up for less than most people earn in a day's work.)

Where will our technology be in another 120 years?
Click to play embedded YouTube video.

  • Progress is not always linear:

    118 = 66 + 20 + 32
--------------------------------------------
1903: man achieves first (HTA) flight
1969: man lands on Moon & returns
1989: man sends a probe past Neptune
2021: man's first Martian drone flight
Last edited by neufer on Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by neufer » Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:02 pm

johnnydeep wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:10 pm
alter-ego wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:30 am

What I would give to see the Wright brother's faces after their first powered flight when telling them that a swatch of the their Whopper material would ride along the first powered flight on Mars... then leave during the developing, excessive laughter.
So, does the 'copter have to cease operations solely because when Perseverance "moves on" it will no longer be able to communicate with Ingenuity? Otherwise, I would think that Ingenuity's hardware could still be operable long after the 30-day operations window, much like most other NASA hardware has greatly exceeded their nominal mission length.
  • Matt Damon may some day need a functioning Ingenuity in
    order to dice up french fried potatoes to go with his Whopper.
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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by illexsquid » Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:34 pm

SpaceNut425 wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:39 pm
Why wasn't the recording of the sound of Ingenuity flying released? They've got a microphone on the rover, use it!
I was wondering this too. Just guessing, but it was very far away from the rover, and sound doesn't carry all that well in the thin atmosphere. On the other hand, sound is useful engineering data, and I have to think it was pretty loud. I wish they'd had some sound too!

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by illexsquid » Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:37 pm

About nine seconds into the flight, I noticed that the legs rotated 90 degrees clockwise (as viewed from above). It seemed pretty precise, so I imagine that was a deliberate test. There was also a slight drift to the left, which looked less deliberate. I haven't seen any discussion of either motion in the press coverage; does anyone here know any details about them?

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by johnnydeep » Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:56 pm

illexsquid wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:37 pm
About nine seconds into the flight, I noticed that the legs rotated 90 degrees clockwise (as viewed from above). It seemed pretty precise, so I imagine that was a deliberate test. There was also a slight drift to the left, which looked less deliberate. I haven't seen any discussion of either motion in the press coverage; does anyone here know any details about them?
The quarter turn was indeed a planned maneuver. The drift was due to wind, but was deemed "acceptable". Both were mentioned in the NASA briefing I saw. I'll let neufer post a link :)

EDIT: ok, the turn is mentioned starting about 28 minutes into the full 90 minute briefing: https://youtu.be/JM_2hmdRnfQ?t=1688. I couldn't quickly find the mention of the drift.

EDIT 2: ok, here's the wind drift mentioned about 22:35 minutes in: https://youtu.be/JM_2hmdRnfQ?t=1355
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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by neufer » Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:43 pm

SpaceNut425 wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:39 pm

Why wasn't the recording of the sound of Ingenuity flying released?
They've got a microphone on the rover, use it!
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
illexsquid wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:34 pm


I was wondering this too. Just guessing, but it was very far away from the rover, and sound doesn't carry all that well in the thin atmosphere. On the other hand, sound is useful engineering data, and I have to think it was pretty loud. I wish they'd had some sound too!
  • Sound included :arrow:
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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by daddyo » Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:10 am

The engineers that put this together are awesome.

I noticed what I think is a video aliasing effect of the two rotors seemingly synchronized to the shutter, makes it look like each blade is stationary on either the left or right.

Here's phase #2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zJsXJBs_ks

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by alter-ego » Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:23 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:35 pm
alter-ego wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:30 am
What I would give to see the Wright brother's faces after their first powered flight when telling them that a swatch of the their Whopper material would ride along the first powered flight on Mars... then leave during the developing, excessive laughter.
I had similar thoughts. Such a range in just over a century. That little helicopter would have bordered on miraculous to the Wrights just flying on Earth, let alone on Mars. (And today, they're toys you can pick up for less than most people earn in a day's work.)

Where will our technology be in another 120 years?
Yeah, I've wondered the same thing. I tend believe amazing strides in medical technology and robotics (AI) will stand out. To me, we're now in the golden years of space science / exploration and cosmology. I wish I could be around for CNB (Cosmic Neutrino Background) detection and breaking the CMB barrier.

A side story: Just yesterday I chatted with a friend about how close we are to COTS Dick Tracy watches. Not as amazing as the Ingenuity flight on Mars, but before Star Trek, I remember distinctly trying to understand the engineering and invention required to put a Zenith CRT TV with tubes, 10's of thousands of volts, and magnetic coil speakers on a person's wrist - with a little battery to power the whole thing. I couldn't fathom how, just not possible! When I got a "really small" transistor radio (made in Japan :)), I realized that was a start, but still, how could such a watch be possible?? Now I'm expecting to see a kid's working Dick Tracy TV Watch any day.
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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by alter-ego » Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:24 am

neufer wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:02 pm
johnnydeep wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:10 pm
alter-ego wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:30 am

What I would give to see the Wright brother's faces after their first powered flight when telling them that a swatch of the their Whopper material would ride along the first powered flight on Mars... then leave during the developing, excessive laughter.
So, does the 'copter have to cease operations solely because when Perseverance "moves on" it will no longer be able to communicate with Ingenuity? Otherwise, I would think that Ingenuity's hardware could still be operable long after the 30-day operations window, much like most other NASA hardware has greatly exceeded their nominal mission length.
  • Matt Damon may some day need a functioning Ingenuity in
    order to dice up french fried potatoes to go with his Whopper.
I was anticipating a play on the Whopper. Of course you were a candidate contributor :D
A pessimist is nothing more than an experienced optimist

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by alter-ego » Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:39 am

neufer wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:52 pm
Chris Peterson wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:35 pm
alter-ego wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:30 am

What I would give to see the Wright brother's faces after their first powered flight when telling them that a swatch of the their Whopper material would ride along the first powered flight on Mars... then leave during the developing, excessive laughter.
I had similar thoughts. Such a range in just over a century. That little helicopter would have bordered on miraculous to the Wrights just flying on Earth, let alone on Mars. (And today, they're toys you can pick up for less than most people earn in a day's work.)

Where will our technology be in another 120 years?
Click to play embedded YouTube video.

  • Progress is not always linear:

    118 = 66 + 20 + 32
--------------------------------------------
1903: man achieves first (HTA) flight
1969: man lands on Moon & returns
1989: man sends a probe past Neptune
2021: man's first Martian drone flight
  • 124 = 66 + 20 + 32 + 6
--------------------------------------------
1903: man achieves first (HTA) flight
1969: man lands on Moon & returns
1989: man sends a probe past Neptune
2021: man's first Martian drone flight
2027: planned launch of Dragonfly mission to Titan

A Monolith may not be that far away.
A pessimist is nothing more than an experienced optimist

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by alter-ego » Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:04 am

johnnydeep wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:10 pm
alter-ego wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:30 am
APOD Robot wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:06 am

More tests of Ingenuity's unprecedented ability are planned over the next few months.
Very, very exciting. I'd love to see an extended mission for testing the copter. However, per plan, operations will cease soon.
INGENUITY MARS HELISCOPTER: FIRST FLIGHT ON MARS wrote:The Ingenuity team has two weeks left in its 30-day window for operations, during which the helicopter may complete up to four more flights. Watch for the next one to occur not earlier than April 22nd. Flight 2 will see Ingenuity reaching an altitude of 5 meters, then flying laterally for 2 meters. On Flight 3, Ingenuity will fly to an altitude of 5 meters before attempting a 50-meter out and back horizontal flight.After that, Perseverance will move on with its packed primary science mission. After April, Ingenuity will come to rest one last time on the surface of Mars in Jezero Crater, a small testament to the first flight on the Red Planet.
What I would give to see the Wright brother's faces after their first powered flight when telling them that a swatch of the their Whopper material would ride along the first powered flight on Mars... then leave during the developing, excessive laughter.
So, does the 'copter have to cease operations solely because when Perseverance "moves on" it will no longer be able to communicate with Ingenuity? Otherwise, I would think that Ingenuity's hardware could still be operable long after the 30-day operations window, much like most other NASA hardware has greatly exceeded their nominal mission length.
I think it's as simple as mission priorities. First, science- the search for evidence of life, past and present. Second, demonstration. Ingenuity is not set up for scientific investigation The objectives for Ingenuity are clear: 1.To demonstrate powered flight in the thin atmosphere of Mars is possible, 2.To actually fly the helicopter on Mars, 3.Use of miniaturized flying technology in space, and 4. Autonomous operations of an aerial system at another planet or moon. Getting down to business of scientific investigation for the long haul is primary. Even with a maximum radio range of 1km, it takes time and money, with added risk to manage Ingenuity and Perseverance together. Ingenuity's $5M per month operating cost is 60% of Perseverance cost per month. The mission can't sustain the added cost. Interesting too is Ingenuity's $80M build/development cost. That's $20M per pound (20x higher than for Perseverance)! Clearly, Ingenuity is a high-valued demonstration, but short lived.

With that said, will there be added flight? Maybe if the reward is high enough.
A pessimist is nothing more than an experienced optimist

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Re: APOD: Ingenuity: First Flight over Mars (2021 Apr 20)

Post by johnnydeep » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:12 am

alter-ego wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:04 am
johnnydeep wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:10 pm
alter-ego wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:30 am

Very, very exciting. I'd love to see an extended mission for testing the copter. However, per plan, operations will cease soon.

What I would give to see the Wright brother's faces after their first powered flight when telling them that a swatch of the their Whopper material would ride along the first powered flight on Mars... then leave during the developing, excessive laughter.
So, does the 'copter have to cease operations solely because when Perseverance "moves on" it will no longer be able to communicate with Ingenuity? Otherwise, I would think that Ingenuity's hardware could still be operable long after the 30-day operations window, much like most other NASA hardware has greatly exceeded their nominal mission length.
I think it's as simple as mission priorities. First, science- the search for evidence of life, past and present. Second, demonstration. Ingenuity is not set up for scientific investigation The objectives for Ingenuity are clear: 1.To demonstrate powered flight in the thin atmosphere of Mars is possible, 2.To actually fly the helicopter on Mars, 3.Use of miniaturized flying technology in space, and 4. Autonomous operations of an aerial system at another planet or moon. Getting down to business of scientific investigation for the long haul is primary. Even with a maximum radio range of 1km, it takes time and money, with added risk to manage Ingenuity and Perseverance together. Ingenuity's $5M per month operating cost is 60% of Perseverance cost per month. The mission can't sustain the added cost. Interesting too is Ingenuity's $80M build/development cost. That's $20M per pound (20x higher than for Perseverance)! Clearly, Ingenuity is a high-valued demonstration, but short lived.

With that said, will there be added flight? Maybe if the reward is high enough.
Thanks for those details. I do realize that this is a first step for powered flight on Mars and "just" a technology demonstration, but I still manage to be disappointed about not already being further along. But $5 million per month to operated Ingenuity? That seems nuts, but I'm no doubt very naive about what has to go into such an operation behind the scenes.
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