NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter now has three dozen Mars flights below its belt.
The 4-pound (1.8 kilograms) Ingenuity aced its thirty sixth Pink Planet sortie on Sunday (Dec. 10), staying aloft for 60.5 seconds on a flight that coated 361 ft (110 meters) of horizontal distance.
Sunday’s hop got here only a week after Ingenuity set a brand new altitude file, hovering 46 ft (14 m) above the ground of Mars‘ Jezero Crater on Dec. 3. The chopper obtained a most of 33 ft (10 m) above the pink dust this previous Sunday, in response to the mission’s flight log (opens in new tab).
Associated: Soar over Mars rover tracks with Ingenuity helicopter (video)
Ingenuity landed with NASA’s Perseverance rover in February 2021, tasked with exhibiting that powered flight is feasible on Mars regardless of the planet’s thin atmosphere.
The helicopter aced that major goal throughout a five-flight marketing campaign within the spring of 2021 Ingenuity then shifted into an prolonged mission throughout which it is pushing the boundaries of Pink Planet flight and serving as a scout for Perseverance.
The rover, in the meantime, is looking for indicators of historic Mars life and amassing dozens of samples. If all goes in response to plan, this Mars materials shall be returned to Earth by a joint NASA/European Area Company marketing campaign, maybe as early as 2033.
In response to Ingenuity’s flight log, the rotorcraft has traveled a complete of 24,633 ft (7,517 m) throughout its 36 sorties and stayed airborne for practically 61 minutes.
Perseverance is much more well-traveled. The car-sized rover has trekked a complete of 8.53 miles (13.73 km) (opens in new tab) on the ground of Jezero, which harbored a lake and a river delta billions of years in the past.
That is removed from the rover file, nevertheless. NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover put 28.06 miles (48.15 km) miles on its odometer whereas exploring the Pink Planet from 2004 to 2018 — farther than some other robotic has traveled on the floor of a world past Earth.
Mike Wall is the creator of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a e-book in regards to the seek for alien life. Comply with him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Comply with us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) and on Facebook (opens in new tab).
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