One concern in How long could the Mars helicopter Ingenuity keep up with the Perseverance rover if it wanted to? is that the helicopter must cycle its battery every night to stay warm, and that could severely limit its lifetime.

Question: Could Ingenuity stay warmer at night by landing on (or near) Perseverance's RTG?

If landing on top of the RTG would be too dangerous or toasty, could it land on the surface under the RTG and bask in its radiant heat and stay significantly warmer than being completely exposed to the cold martian sky? (How cold is the Martian sky at night? Or the day for that matter?)

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    $\begingroup$ "For safety reasons, the copter will be no closer than 100 meters from the rover..." jpl.nasa.gov/universe/archive/universe1807.pdf $\endgroup$
    – Cornelis
    Aug 1, 2020 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think that the RTG is warm enough. It only puts out 2000 watts of heat, of which a large part goes into the rover. To feel that radiative heat, you'd need to be practically hugging it, not just near it. $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Aug 1, 2020 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Dragongeek What "warm enough" is probably needs at least an envelope back to work out, but any reduction in the depth that Ingenuity's batteries must discharge to nightly will extend their lifetime, and anything above Ingenuity that's warmer than Mars' night sky will do that. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 1, 2020 at 19:34
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    $\begingroup$ related: space.stackexchange.com/q/29589/20636 $\endgroup$
    – user20636
    Aug 20, 2020 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ The dimensions would be right, unfortunately Ingenuity's solar panel will be in the way. $\endgroup$
    – Cornelis
    Feb 21, 2021 at 10:09


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