Ingenuity helicopter returned to space Sunday, taking another trip to Mars.
According to the MASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the helicopter travelled about 94 meters and lasted for more than 55 seconds as it cruised at a speed of 17.1 kilometers per hour. Ingenuity previously flew on September 6, and now it has taken to the air twice in the last few weeks.
It is 32nd flight for Ingenuity as a whole and the second this month. Perseverance, a companion rover, has explored the ancient delta on Mars for several years now.
In addition to studying the delta, Perseverance has been collecting rock samples since July. Because of its findings, two organic molecules were discovered in two rock samples.
Ingenuity — only five demonstration flights
If all goes according to plan, researchers on Earth may be able to study Mars Sample CORE in great detail: NASA and the European Space Agency are collaborating to bring samples of the rover to our planet as early as 2033.
Ingenuity was initially intended to make only five demonstration flights, which would demonstrate that it was possible to fly in Mars’ rarefied atmosphere. When the helicopter quickly met this challenge and continued on to an extended mission, Perseverance was its scout.