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Get ready for the landing of Perseverance !


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56 minutes ago, OdinSon2k11 said:

How are the camera lenses kept free of dust? The picture is crystal clear. 

 

15 minutes ago, Curious layman said:

Dust covers.

That’s right, but only partially. There are a few techniques to managing dust on the lenses. 


https://www.techbriefs.com/component/content/article/tb/stories/blog/37300

Quote

The other issue is whether we get dust on the lenses or in the mechanisms. Cameras deal with dust in different ways. The cameras that are near the surface of Mars, like WATSON, have a cover. That cover is keeping the lens clean from any blowing dust — except for when it is being used. 
<...>
On the mast, we don’t actually use lens covers. With the mast cameras, there is still some concern for dust, but the cameras are almost two meters up off the ground, so there’s less blowing dust that would hit it. The mast of the rover, however, is tilted down straight down when the rover "sleeps.”

The rover is almost anthropomorphic. It sleeps with its head down. When the rover is doing anything with the arm that might cause dust, especially drilling and scooping, then the mast actually turns away from the work area. It’s almost like somebody is getting a whole bunch of dust when they’re sanding, and they’re actually turning their face away from what they’re doing so they don’t get dirt in their eyes. That's what we do with the rover.

 

It’s fabulous engineering across the board! The link below is a good overview:

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/spacecraft/rover/cameras/

mars_2020_cameras_labeled_web-full2.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ordinary peoples' interest in these extraterrestrial projects seems to be dampened by a doubt that it will have significant intersectional applications - the fossil fuel industry is one.  We do have immensely diverse and adaptable microbial life here on Earth that is yet discovered, including many extremophiles and thermal vent ancestors, like the ones that gave us the Taq DNA polymerase.

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  • 4 weeks later...

And the next phase begins:

Mars Helicopter Ingenuity runs/spins rotor blades motors for the first time

On April 9, 2021 NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover sent images of Ingenuity Helicopter’s rotor blades spin up within motor test. Ingenuity is ready to make First Fly on Mars on April 11-12. Rotor blades spinned up and are unlocked and helicopter is going to make high-rpm test. So next milestone is to spin up rotor blades full-speed for the first time on Mars (to the planned flight speed of ~2400 RPM) while still on the surface. When Ingenuity is flying, it uses a lot of power-many hundreds of watts. The lithium-ion battery that powers Ingenuity's two main propulsion and six blade pitch control motors needs to handle power surges as Ingenuity flies and fights any winds and gusts it may encounter. The helicopter's voltage needs to be maintained so that motors do not stall or electronic devices get in trouble. Ingenuity comes out of the cold Martian night without much energy in its battery, so it needs to bask in the Sun to warm up and let the solar panel charge up the battery enough to handle the power demands of the day. All this means that Ingenuity cannot fly too early in the morning. Midday and afternoon are far better.

Edited by beecee
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  • 2 weeks later...

Today, for the first time in the history of history itself and within 80 years of the first helicopter flight on Earth, humans successfully sustained flight on another planet...  #micdrop #firstofmany

 

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Posted (edited)

Is Ingenuity a small prototype of a larger "Mars-chopper" that can fly a long time and carry heavy cameras and sensors?  What would be the biggest practical size for a Mars chopper, and what weight capacity, that is only powered by solar?  Could there be another power source?

Edited by Airbrush
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5 minutes ago, Airbrush said:

Is Ingenuity a small prototype of a larger "Mars-chopper" that can fly a long time and carry heavy cameras and sensors?  What would be the biggest practical size for a Mars chopper, and what weight capacity, that is only powered by solar?  Could there be another power source?

Addressed here

https://www.scienceforums.net/topic/124871-helicopter-performance-split-from-get-ready-for-the-landing-of-perseverance/?tab=comments#comment-1174594

 

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The Perseverance rover was able to convert carbon dioxide from the Red Planet's atmosphere into oxygen using the MOXIE instrument. The experimental apparatus produced 5.4 g of oxygen, which is enough for 10 minutes of breathing.

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7 hours ago, cannongray said:

The Perseverance rover was able to convert carbon dioxide from the Red Planet's atmosphere into oxygen using the MOXIE instrument. The experimental apparatus produced 5.4 g of oxygen, which is enough for 10 minutes of breathing.

PSA: Links to details are a good thing to include

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-s-perseverance-mars-rover-extracts-first-oxygen-from-red-planet

Interesting that breathing isn't the primary demand regarding oxygen production, it's to burn the rocket fuel.  

"Getting four astronauts off the Martian surface on a future mission would require approximately 15,000 pounds (7 metric tons) of rocket fuel and 55,000 pounds (25 metric tons) of oxygen. In contrast, astronauts living and working on Mars would require far less oxygen to breathe. “The astronauts who spend a year on the surface will maybe use one metric ton between them,” Hecht said."

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  • 4 weeks later...

I read this thread and can't believe that only a month ago Ingenutiy made its first flight, and now it started a new mission — after 5th flight it landed in a new location and will now explore new destinations for Percy. 

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