NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity has now flown nine instances on the Purple Planet, letting mission engineers test a host of capabilities that can pave the approach for more Martian choppers.
Ingenuity made its ninth flight on Mars on Monday (July 5), when it remained aloft for 166.4 seconds and flew as speedily as 16 toes (5 meters) per 2d, in accordance to a tweet from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, which oversees the mission.
Before the flight, NASA announced that the minute airplane would strive new feats on this sortie, including taking a shortcut over rocky terrain unsafe for the helicopter’s unprecedented bigger accomplice, the Perseverance rover, mission personnel wrote in a July 2 assertion.
The Ingenuity helicopter is a technology demonstration mission that trekked to Mars tucked away in Perseverance’s belly and arrived on the Purple Planet on Feb. 18. The rover deployed the 4-lb. (1.8 kilograms) chopper in early April for what became planned to be a 5-flight, one-month mission. Ingenuity made history on April 19 when it completed the first powered flight on Mars.
However as Ingenuity aced flight after flight, NASA prolonged the minute helicopter’s mission, atmosphere the experimental airplane to sustain perambulate with Perseverance as the rover begins its geology and astrobiology work, the center of the mission.
As capable as Perseverance is, nonetheless, the rover faces limitations by approach of where it must safely explore, and that’s the explanation what inspired Ingenuity’s newest flight, which comes two weeks after the helicopter’s most newest sortie.
“Perseverance is currently at the eastern edge of a scientifically attention-grabbing keep known as ‘Séítah,’ which is characterised by sandy ripples that shall be very no longer easy terrain for wheeled vehicles savor the rover,” the helicopter’s crew wrote in the assertion outlining plans for the ninth flight.
“In preference to persevering with to skip forward of the rover, nonetheless, we’ll now strive and enact something that completely an aerial automobile at Mars might pause — have interaction a shortcut straight all over a portion of the Séítah keep and land on a easy to the south. On the approach, we thought to hang interaction color aerial photos of the rocks and ripples that we hump over.”
NASA has no longer yet printed the paunchy statistics and image collection from the flight. Data from Ingenuity must hump first to Perseverance, then to 1 of many speedily of satellites orbiting Mars, then to Earth.
Email Meghan Bartels at [email protected] or practice her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb.
SPACE.COM SENIOR WRITER — Meghan is a science journalist primarily based completely completely in Original York City. She joined Spot.com in July 2018, with earlier writing printed in stores including Newsweek and Audubon. Meghan earned an MA in science journalism from Original York University and a BA in classics from Georgetown University, and in her free time she enjoys studying and visiting museums. Follow her on Twitter at @meghanbartels.
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