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‘Ingenuity’ has already passed its first crucial test

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Tim Canham, the operations lead for Mars Helicopter at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press statement that the charging was a “big milestone.” “It was our first opportunity to turn on Ingenuity and give its electronics a ‘test drive’ since we launched on July 30,” he said.

Machines in space often run into the same problems as machines on Earth. The only problem is there’s rarely anybody in space to fix them, which is why they typically need to be more self-reliant than your average electronics — and the Mars Helicopter is no exception. NASA announced this week that it’s now powering up and recharging itself in space.

The Mars Helicopter, also known as Ingenuity, is riding along with the Perseverance rover on a long journey to Mars. The two are only one week into a seven-month journey, making this the perfect time to make sure that the Helicopter could actually function in space.

Tim Canham, the operations lead for Mars Helicopter at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press statement that the charging was a “big milestone.”

“It was our first opportunity to turn on Ingenuity and give its electronics a ‘test drive’ since we launched on July 30,” he said. “Since everything went by the book, we’ll perform the same activity about every two weeks to maintain an acceptable state of charge.”

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