National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is targeting no earlier than Monday, April 19, for the first flight of its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at approximately 03:30 am Eastern Time Zone (EDT). NASA in a press release said that data from the first flight will return to Earth a few hours following the autonomous flight.
"A livestream will begin at 6:15 am EDT , as the helicopter team prepares to receive the data downlink in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)," the release said.
If the flight takes place on April 19, a post flight briefing will be held at 2:00 pm EDT, the release added. The original flight date of April 11 shifted as engineers worked on preflight checks and a solution to a command sequence issue.
The rover will provide support during flight operations, taking images, collecting environmental data, and hosting the base station that enables the helicopter to communicate with mission controllers on Earth.
This technology demonstration is supported by NASA's Science, Aeronautics Research, and Space Technology mission directorates. JPL, managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations for Ingenuity and the Mars 2020 rover.
(With inputs from ANI)