NASA’s Mars experimental helicopter Ingenuity has flown eight times on the red planet, farther than scientists hoped.
The last time this small helicopter flew to Mars was on Monday (June 21). According to a tweet sent by the Propulsion Laboratory to the NASA jet in California, during the flight, Ingenuity stayed in the air for 77.4 seconds, flew 525 feet (160 meters), and was about 440 feet away from its companion Perseverance rover. Landing at (133.5 m)., operating the helicopter.
Ingenuity is a technology demonstration project that takes NASA’s larger Perseverance Rover to Mars, which landed on the Red Planet on February 18. Before beginning his scientific work in earnest, Perseverance began his sojourn on Mars via a test helicopter and another technical project that can convert carbon dioxide in the Red Planet’s thin atmosphere into oxygen. Related
: Watch NASA’s Mars Ingenuity Helicopter Fly in 3D (Video) The Mars
Ingenuity helicopter captures its shadow image during its eighth flight to Mars on June 21, 2021. Image captured by the Martian
helicopter engine. Shadows during the eighth flight to Mars on June 21, 2021. (Image source: NASA / JPLCaltech) Monday flight
was approximately two weeks after Ingenuity’s last flight, on June 8. The success of the new flight marked the helicopter’s second perfect flight after the difficult sixth flight, which put the helicopter’s flexibility to the test.
Although Ingenuity was originally designed to only fly five times, its continued success encouraged the agency to expand its mission and attempt more ambitious flights. Although the helicopter’s first flight started and ended at the same location, nicknamed the Wright Brothers Airport, to commemorate the pioneers of flying on Earth, Ingenuity now soars from one new airport to another.
Therefore, although NASA has not announced when the helicopter will make its ninth flight, it is definitely expected that such a takeoff will arrive sooner or later.
According to SpaceNews reporter Jeff Foust, this helicopter can continue to explore for several months. Project scientists for the Mars 2020 mission (including Perseverance and Ingenuity), speaking to a group that advises NASA on exploring Mars, said that Ingenuity can “make several flights per month” for “months.” Foster reports. These
departures will keep the helicopter in sync with Perseverance’s own journey to Mars to better understand how the rover and the plane work together in science.
At the same time, Perseverance is tackling its ambitious agenda, focusing on assessing the past habitability of its landing site, Jezero Crater, and hiding interesting rock samples for future missions to be taken to Earth’s laboratories for a more up-to-date detailed analysis.