The Mars helicopter has added a new chapter to human’s efforts to explore the planet. The helicopter was designed by NASA. It is named Ingenuity. The helicopter was sent to Mars along with the Perseverance rover. NASA has now released an audio clip of Ingenuity humming in the thin air of Mars. The clip was released just before Ingenuity’s fifth test flight on the planet. The low hum is coming from the spinning blades. The blades complete more than 2,500 revolutions every minute. The blades are barely audible. It only sounds like a far-away mosquito flying. The mini-helicopter has so far performed four test flights. The helicopter weighs 1.8 kg.
The low hum is because of the distance between the Perseverance rover’s microphone and the helicopter. Ingenuity was more than 260 feet far from the rover. Mars’ rumbling wind gusts also obstructed the helicopter’s sound from reaching the microphone. NASA scientists used technology to isolate the helicopter’s sound so that it can be heard. The sound of the helicopter’s blades was recorded on April 30 during Ingenuity’s fourth test flight. Ingenuity is the first helicopter by any space agency to fly in the Martian atmosphere. It arrived at the Red Planet on February 18, attached to the belly of Perseverance. Ingenuity performed the first flight on April 19. The agency named the site of its takeoff and landing as Wright Brothers Field.
NASA invested USD 85 million in developing the technology. It is the first every scientific equipment by the agency to fly in another world. NASA expected that the mission will last for not more than one month, but it extended the mission’s duration by one month. The agency will fly the helicopter multiple times to demonstrate the technology. Ingenuity’s success is will redefine the scientific approach for Mars exploration. NASA’s latest Mars probe will look for signs of microbial life on the planet. It said that Perseverance has completed the first phase. It will now start hunting for rocks on Mars with signs of microscopic life. It will collect sore samples that will return to Earth in the future.