Like some hobbits, the little Martian helicopter received special honors.
Fantasy fans have given the final resting place of NASA’s Ingenuity, which was grounded after its final flight on January 18, a new name.
“The team at Ingenuity is proud to announce that the ‘Varinor,’ a reference to the fictional location featured in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels, including the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, will be located at the site where the helicopter completed its final flight. Hills,” a NASA official said. I wrote it on Monday (February 6).
Related: NASA ‘wiggles’ damaged Ingenuity Mars helicopter’s blades to analyze damage
Tolkien (1982-1973), an Anglo-Saxon scholar at the University of Oxford, is best known for his fantasy works, including The Lord of the Rings (LOTR), The Hobbit and The Silmarillion.
Some of Tolkien’s stories have been popularized on radio, television, streaming, and television in the 2000s and 2010s, including LOTR, the “Hobbit” film series directed by Peter Jackson, and “The Lord of the Rings: The Lord of the Rings.” It’s being made into a story in Hollywood. Power” Amazon Prime series starting in 2022.
Valinor is part of the Land of the Undying and is a frequently cited location in Tolkien’s mythology. The most cited reference to these islands is at the end of LOTR. After the Invitees play a key role in the quest to destroy a powerful ring that threatens the universe, the elves allow some of the protagonists to take refuge there.
The islands of the Undying Lands were the home of the elves and the Valar. Valar refers to beings who played a role in the creation of the world. 2009 paper It was published in Mythlore, a peer-reviewed journal led by Keith Kelly of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. Although not fully equivalent to the Judeo-Christian concept of heaven, the land of immortality is a point of eternal refuge and rest, according to Tolkien’s letters cited in the paper.
The location’s unofficial name (used by NASA engineers for navigation and honorific purposes) has been around since it landed on the surface of Mars with its robotic companion, the Perseverance rover, on February 18, 2021. Suitable for Ingenuity, which flew 72 times.
After making the first flight of a powered aircraft on a planet other than Earth, Ingenuity’s adventures quickly expanded from its five-flight range to its role as a reconnaissance to future Perseverance sampling locations. The ongoing search for ancient Martian life has been strengthened.
The final mission was cut short on January 18 because the Martian sands, described as “bland,” made it difficult to judge the rocks and other terrain for the helicopter to navigate.
The era of helicopter flight ended when engineers discovered damage to the blades that made it impossible to fly again. However, Ingenuity is otherwise in good condition, allowing Engineering to transmit his data to Perseverance as long as the rover remains within communication range.
But Perseverance will continue to prioritize its mission to collect samples for the Mars Sample Return Mission (MSR), scheduled for the 2030s. That means sooner or later the spacecraft will leave Ingenuity on the ground, silence the flying Sentinel, and end the drone mission.
NASA plans to continue deploying flight observers on future missions, including the two fetch helicopters in the MSR mission program. But that assumes the program’s ongoing budget problems can be quickly overcome. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages Ingenuity and MSR, cut 8% of its workforce this week, citing uncertainty in Congress about NASA’s budget and MSR.
NASA is operating under a continuing resolution that freezes spending within 2023 budget limits until spending for the new fiscal year is negotiated. “The impact will be felt in both the technical and support areas of the institute,” a JPL official said. recent statements. “These are painful but necessary adjustments that will allow us to meet budget allocations while continuing to do important work for NASA and our country.”