NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity has flown its first mile on the Red Planet.
The small chopper surpassed the 1-mile (1.6 km) mark of its total flight distance on Saturday (July 24) when soared over a rocky area known as “Raised Ridges” at its Jezero Crater dwelling. The sortie was the tenth and highest journey but for Ingenuity, which arrived on Mars with NASA’s Perseverance rover in February. Ingenuity’s first flight occurred in April.
“With the Mars Helicopter’s flight success today, we crossed its 1-mile total distance flown to date,” officers with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California wrote in an Instagram update late Saturday. JPL is dwelling to the mission management for Perseverance and Ingenuity.
Flight 10 was the most challenging yet for Ingenuity, with 10 completely different waypoints for the helicopter to hit because it flew over its “Raised Ridges” goal. It reached a most altitude of 40 toes (12 meters), a brand new report top, and flew about 310 toes (95 m). From take off to touchdown, the whole flight lasted 165.4 seconds. That’s slightly below 3 minutes.
During the flight, Ingenuity was anticipated to snap a sequence of pictures, together with ones that would assist scientists create stereo pictures of the Raised Ridges rocks. The ridges are an space mission scientists are contemplating to ship the Perseverance rover.
“We will be imaging Raised Ridges because it’s an area that Perseverance scientists find intriguing and are considering visiting sometime in the future,” JPL mission managers in a July 23 status update.
Ingenuity is now parked on its seventh airfield on Mars as mission scientists look at telemetry and pictures from the flight.
Originally designed to fly 4 flights on Mars, the Ingenuity helicopter is the primary automobile to ever try powered flight on one other world. The 4-lb. (1.8 kilograms) chopper arrived on Mars folded up within the stomach of the Perseverance rover and was initially anticipated to fly solely 4 flights over 30 Martian days (known as sols) as a proof of idea.
The solar-powered helicopter accomplished its major mission in April, with NASA extending its operations. In this prolonged phase, Ingenuity is getting used for reconnaissance to hunt out fascinating spots for the Perseverance rover.
“Aerial scouting aids the Perseverance Mars rover team in deciding what moves to make next,” JPL officers wrote in Saturday’s update.
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