According to NASA, they will conquer the Red Planet in the near future.
The Ingenuity helicopter made a new flight on Mars, reaching a new altitude record of 14 meters. Previous records for the helicopter were 12 meters, set on three previous flights.
This was the 35th time the Ingenuity helicopter has flown on Mars. The third point: Ingenuity’s flight on Saturday was its first since November. This is the second time that the software has been upgraded since November 22.
An all-time high for the #MarsHelicopter!— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) December 6, 2022
Ingenuity completed Flight 35 over the weekend and set a new max altitude record, hitting 46 ft (14 meters) above the Martian surface. See more stats in the flight log: https://t.co/7DMHj9LkNX pic.twitter.com/qAj5H9Z68C
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Perhaps as early as 2033
In February 2021, Ingenuity landed with NASA’s Perseverance rover. From the rover’s belly, the helicopter launched on a campaign to prove that powered flight on Mars is feasible.
Those first five sorties were just in a month of technology demonstrations. The mission extension granted by NASA soon enabled Ingenuity to keep its rotorcraft in the air. The program’s primary objectives are to push the envelope of Red Planet flight and perform reconnaissance for the Perseverance mission.
It is exploring the floor of the 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero, an ancient lake and river delta that once occupied the area billions of years ago in search of ancient life on Mars. During perseverance, NASA’s European Space Agency will return a collection of samples to Earth, possibly as early as 2033.
Ingenuity’s First Flight Since Nov. 22
For Ingenuity, Saturday was the first flight since November. It is the second time that it has been used since an update to its software was made. Several weeks after a similar update was released by NASA, the team wrote in a blog post late last month that the new version offers two major new capabilities to the mission: hazard avoidance when landing and the use of digital elevation maps as navigational aids. With these updates, the mission team hopes to be capable of doing even more during the mission.
During the 52-second flight on Saturday, Ingenuity covered 49 feet (15 meters) of horizontal distance. On its 35 Mars sorties, the helicopter has traveled a total of 24,302 feet (7,407 m) and remained aloft for 59.9 minutes.
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