Mars Helicopter Flight Test Promises Wright Brothers Moment for NASA

NASA hopes to score a 21st-century Wright Brothers moment on Monday as it attempts to send a miniature helicopter buzzing over the surface of Mars in what would be the first powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet.Landmark achievements in science and technology can seem humble by conventional measurements. The Wright Brothers’ first controlled flight in the world of a motor-driven airplane, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903 covered just 120 feet (37 meters) in 12 seconds.A modest debut is likewise in store for NASA’s twin-rotor, solar-powered helicopter Ingenuity.If all goes to plan, the 4-pound (1.8-kg) whirligig will slowly ascend straight up to an altitude of 10 feet (3 meters) above the Martian surface, hover in place for 30 seconds, then rotate before descending to a gentle landing on all four legs.Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
download this video to view it offline.Download File360p | 0 MB480p | 0 MB540p | 0 MB720p | 0 MBOriginal | 0 MB Embed” />CopyNASA’s Ingenuity helicopter begins a Slow spin test of its blades, April 8, 2021, the 48th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. (Credit: NASA)While the mere metrics may seem less than ambitious, the “air field” for the interplanetary test flight is 173 million miles from Earth, on the floor of a vast Martian basin called Jezero Crater. Success hinges on Ingenuity executing the pre-programmed flight instructions using an autonomous pilot and navigation system.“The moment our team has been waiting for is almost here,” Ingenuity project manager MiMi Aung said at a recent briefing at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles.NASA itself is likening the experiment to the Wright Brothers’ feat 117 years ago, paying tribute to that modest but monumental first flight by having affixed a tiny swath of wing fabric from the original Wright flyer under Ingenuity’s solar panel.The robot rotorcraft was carried to the red planet strapped to the belly of NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance, a mobile astrobiology lab that touched down on Feb. 18 in Jezero Crater after a nearly seven-month journey through space. Although Ingenuity’s flight test is set to begin around 3:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday (0730 GMT Monday), data confirming its outcome is not expected to reach JPL’s mission control until around 6:15 a.m. ET on Monday.NASA also expects to receive images and video of the flight that mission engineers hope to capture using cameras mounted on the helicopter and the Perseverance rover, which will be parked 250 feet (76 meters) away from Ingenuity’s flight zone.If the test succeeds, Ingenuity will undertake several additional, lengthier flights in the weeks ahead, though it will need to rest four to five days in between each to recharge its batteries. Prospects for future flights rest largely on a safe, four-point touchdown the first time.“It doesn’t have a self-righting system, so if we do have a bad landing, that will be the end of the mission,” Aung said. An unexpectedly strong wind gust is one potential peril that could spoil the flight.NASA hopes Ingenuity — a technology demonstration separate from Perseverance’s primary mission to search for traces of ancient microorganisms — paves the way for aerial surveillance of Mars and other destinations in the solar system, such as Venus or Saturn’s moon Titan.While Mars possesses much less gravity to overcome than Earth, its atmosphere is just 1% as dense, presenting a special challenge for aerodynamic lift. To compensate, engineers equipped Ingenuity with rotor blades that are larger (4-feet-long) and spin more rapidly than would be needed on Earth for an aircraft of its size.The design was successfully tested in vacuum chambers built at JPL to simulate Martian conditions, but it remains to be seen whether Ingenuity will fly on the red planet.The small, lightweight aircraft already passed an early crucial test by demonstrating it could withstand punishing cold, with nighttime temperatures dropping as low as 130 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (minus 90 degrees Celsius), using solar power alone to recharge and keep internal components properly heated.The planned flight was delayed for a week by a technical glitch during a test spin of the aircraft’s rotors on April 9. NASA said that issue has since been resolved. 

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Команда Тихановської вважає провокацією спецслужб заяву Лукашенка про «переворот»

Таким чином у Тихановської прокоментували заяву Лукашенка про спробу військового перевороту, якому нібито запобігли спецслужби Росії та Білорусі

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Віцепрем’єр Чехії обговорить справу про вибухи в 2014-му на зустрічі Ради голів МЗС Євросоюзу

Як вважають у чеському уряді, 18 дипломатів посольства Росії причетні до вибухів складів із боєприпасами в селищі Врбєтіце

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Israel Lifts Its Mask Mandate on Sunday

With nearly 60% of its population receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine, Israel is lifting its requirement Sunday to wear masks outdoors. The mask mandate remains in place, however, for enclosed spaces.Beginning April 24, France will require all travelers from Brazil to quarantine for 10 days.Brazil has 13.9 million COVID cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Only the U.S. and India have more cases, at 31.6 million and 14.5 million, respectively.More than 371,000 people have died in Brazil from COVID, Johns Hopkins reported. The U.S. is the only place that has more COVID deaths, at 566,893.On Sunday, India reported 261,500 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24-hour period.On Saturday, the worldwide COVID death toll surpassed 3 million.World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week the weekly number of new cases has more than doubled over the past two months, approaching the highest infection rate seen since the pandemic began.He said the infection numbers began to rise steadily in February, following six consecutive weeks of decline.

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Nearly 700 Patients Evacuated in Johannesburg Hospital Fire

Nearly 700 patients were evacuated Saturday from Johannesburg’s Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, where a fire blazed through parts of the facility in South Africa’s largest city.No injuries or casualties have been reported. The fire has been contained but the hospital has been closed for seven days, said David Makhura, premier of Gauteng province where Johannesburg is located.Early Saturday morning the fire caused the third floor of the hospital’s parking garage to collapse.Sixty firefighters battled the blaze through the night. The fire started Friday morning and had been doused by the afternoon but then it reignited in the evening and continued burning overnight.The fire has caused extensive damage to the hospital, which has more than 1,000 beds and serves Johannesburg, a city of 6 million people, and the surrounding Gauteng province. It is one of the biggest public hospitals in the country.It is also a designated treatment center for COVID-19 in Gauteng. According to Makhura, the hospital had 13 COVID-19 patients, two in ICU and 11 in general wards at the time of the fire. They have all been transferred to other hospitals.”The fire has been contained into some areas. We are shutting down the hospital as a precautionary measure because there is a lot of smoke that went into other areas, including wards,” said Makhura.The fire started in a storeroom for dry surgical supplies, according to officials.Firefighters reported that the blaze re-started from smoldering medical supplies, including supplies of personal protective equipment used by staff treating patients with COVID-19, Makhura said. An investigation into the fire will be launched, he said.”Our firefighters have been receiving help from others in neighboring municipalities. It has been a tedious process trying to move patients. At first, we moved them to wards that were far away from the fire but we started to evacuate them,” said Gauteng health spokesperson Kwara Kekana. “That is still a process that is ongoing, we are now referring all patients to other hospitals.”

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US, China ‘Committed to Cooperating’ on Climate Crisis: Joint Statement

The United States and China are “committed to cooperating” on the pressing issue of climate change, the two sides said in a joint statement Saturday, following a visit to Shanghai by U.S. climate envoy John Kerry.”The United States and China are committed to cooperating with each other and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands,” said the statement from Kerry and China’s special envoy for climate change Xie Zhenhua.Kerry, the former U.S. secretary of state, was the first official from President Joe Biden’s administration to visit China, signaling hopes the two sides could work together on the global challenge despite sky-high tensions on multiple other fronts.The joint statement listed multiple avenues of cooperation between the United States and China, the world’s top two economies, which together account for nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.It stressed “enhancing their respective actions and cooperating in multilateral processes, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.”Biden has made climate a top priority, turning the page from his predecessor Donald Trump, who was closely aligned with the fossil fuel industry.Biden has rejoined the 2015 Paris accord, which Kerry negotiated when he was secretary of state and committed nations to taking action to keep temperature rises at no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

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Єлисейський палац анонсував розмову Макрона з Путіним

Про намір поговорити з Путіним йдеться у пресрелізі, присвяченому вчорашнім переговорам Макрона з президентом України Володимиром Зеленським

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18 російських дипломатів повинні покинути Чехію у зв’язку з роботою у російських спецслужбах

Як заявив прем’єр Чехії Андрей Бабіш, російські дипломати причетні до вибухів складів з боєприпасами в селищі Врбєтіце, які стались у жовтні й грудні 2014 року. Тоді під час вибухів загинуло двоє людей

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Чехія: російські спецслужби причетні до вибухів на артскладах 2014 року, в розшук оголошені «Петров і Боширов»

Існує обґрунтована підозра про причетність до тих вибухів працівників ГРУ. Через це з Чехії видворяють 18 працівників посольства Росії

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Лікарі: стан Навального критичний, можлива зупинка серця

За словами лікарки Анастасії Васильєвої, в крові Навального критичний вміст калію, що загрожує важкими наслідками, аж до зупинки серця

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