NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover will soon start depositing a cache of samples that it has collected since landing last year as part of efforts to eventually return those samples to Earth.
NASA and the European Space Agency have revised their plans to return samples from Mars, removing a rover and its lander from the effort and replacing them with helicopters modeled on Ingenuity.
House appropriators partially restored funding for a planetary defense mission as part of a spending bill while also raising concerns about NASA’s closure of an airborne observatory and plans to return samples from Mars.
Dust storms and changing seasons will limit the ability of NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter to fly for the next several months, a project engineer said May 27.
After nearly a year of operations, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter is still “as good as new” as it serves as a scout for the Perseverance rover.
With four flights now complete, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter will transition from being strictly a technology demonstration to a test of its ability to work in cooperation with the Perseverance rover.
NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter performed its third flight on Mars April 25, setting it up for its final, and most challenging, tests.