NASA’s Plan to Get Ingenuity Through the Martian Winter

Ingenuity, NASA’s autonomous Mars helicopter, was only meant to complete five flights. But since its history-making first flight in April 2021, the helicopter has flown 28 times, and preparation is underway for the 29th. Depending on dust levels and the schedule of the rover Perseverance, that flight could take place as soon as later this week. But now Ingenuity faces a new challenge: It’s unclear if the helicopter will survive the coming Martian winter, which begins in July.

Since a Martian year amounts to roughly two years on Earth, and the helicopter is in the northern hemisphere, this is Ingenuity’s first winter. As the solstice approaches, days are getting shorter

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