NASA’s Brave Mars Helicopter Goes Forth
The naivety completed its 31st flight on the red planet on September 6, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which oversees the current mission to mars.
The helicopter, which flew into the record books in April 2021 when it became the first aircraft to make a controlled, powered flight on another planet, traveled for 319 feet (97.2 meters) at an altitude of 33 feet (10 meters), JPL said in a tweet. The agency has not yet commented in more detail on the flight.
We had a liftoff!#MarsHelicopter completed a successful Flight 31 on September 6. Ingenuity flew 318 ft (97 m) west towards the Jezero river delta, in 55.6 seconds.
⬆️ Max Altitude: 33ft (10m)
➡️ Distance: 319 ft (97.2 m)
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) September 7, 2022
Tuesday’s departure was the second since June 11, after which the mission team grounded Ingenuity due to an increase in dust storms and bitterly cold seasonal temperatures.
After its long break, JPL tested Ingenuity on a short flight covering only a few meters on August 20. The successful jump paved the way for normal trading to resume this week, with Ingenuity this time managing to cover a decent distance. However, this was far short of his longest flight yet, in April 2022, when he traveled 2,326 meters (709 meters) above the Martian surface.
Ingenuity heads to the river delta inside Jezero Crater, where she will rendezvous with the Perseverance rover, which continues its mission to collect Martian soil samples to return to Earth so scientists can study the material for evidence of microbial life. ancient on the distant planet.
After completing numerous flight tests last year in which the mission team was able to demonstrate the feasibility of flying such an aircraft on a planet with an atmosphere much thinner than Earth’s, JPL began using Ingenuity to assist the Perseverance rover in its explorations of Jezero Crater.
The helicopter has been helping out by using its onboard camera to get images of areas of interest so the team can see if Perseverance is worth sending in for a closer look. It’s also mapping the terrain, allowing controllers to use the data to create the safest routes for Perseverance to take.
The ingenuity has performed so well that NASA recently announced that it intends to build more advanced versions of the drone-like flying machine for future planetary missions.