Hold on to your hats as the Mars Helicopter takes us on another ride above the Red Planet. NASA has released new images from the Ingenuity helicopter’s 25th flight, revealing the little rotorcraft longest and fastest excursion Again.
On April 18, Ingenuity of NASA’s Mars Helicopter covered a distance of 2,310 feet (704 meters) at a speed of 12 miles per hour (5.5 meters per second). Video of the flight was released on Friday, like the team currently preparing a 29th flight to Mars.
“For our record flight, Ingenuity’s downward-facing navigation camera gave us a mind-blowing idea of what it would be like to glide 33 feet above the surface of Mars at 12 miles per hour,” said Teddy Tzanetos, Ingenuity Team Leader at NASA Jet. Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said in a statement.
The video is indeed a doozy. It begins about a second into the flight, after Ingenuity has already lifted off the Martian surface. Once it reaches an elevation of 33 feet (10 meters)the helicopter starts to fly South West. His shadow rapidly passing over the Martian soil seems to move with bold determination.
Ingenuity quickly accelerates to its maximum speed within three seconds of flight. The seemingly frantic footage was actually sped up around five times steady speed, reducing the flight from 161.3 seconds to less than 35 seconds.
The grainy video still lets us marvel at the desert terrain of Mars, which begins as smooth sandy undulations, then becomes more rocky halfway through the sequence, before smoothing out again and providing a safe landing spot for Ingenuity .
The helicopter’s black-and-white downward-facing camera was designed to cut out when the rotorcraft is within 3 feet (1 meter) of the surface, to prevent dust from getting into the navigation system.
Ingenuity may have started as a sidekick to the Perseverancesee, but this little helicopter has proven itself time and time again. On April 19, 2021, Ingenuity became the first powered aircraft to to remove from the surface of another planet. The 19-inch (48 cm), 4-pound (1.8 kg) helicopter was designed to test a whole new way of exploring aliens worlds, and he has already far exceeded all expectations by logging 28 flights over Mars – the original mission plan was only for five flights.
Despite the recent communication problems between Ingenuity and its six wheels traveling companionthe helicopter was recently drafted to aid Perseverance in its exploration of Mars, flying overhead to determine the best routes across the planet.