Ingenuity makes four flights in ten days

On February 25, the Ingenuity drone helicopter took off into the Martian sky for the 46th time. A message about this was published on the mission’s website.

The deposits photographed by the Ingenuity drone, remaining on the site of once-existing sandbanks. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Simeon Schmauß

The purpose of the new flight was aerial reconnaissance of the route for the Perseverance rover. Ingenuity “overtook” the rover, delving into the depths of the ancient Martian delta. The 46th flight lasted 135.9 seconds. In its course, Ingenuity overcame a distance of 445 meters. The maximum speed developed by the spacecraft was 4 m/s, the height was 12 meters.

During its flight, Ingenuity reached ancient sandy deposits. According to scientists, they were formed at a time when shoals were located on this territory. Sediment analysis can provide valuable insights into the geological history of the delta. Next to the petrified shoals is the 900-meter crater Belva, which bottom is covered with sand dunes. In the future, it may become a target for Ingenuity.

It is worth noting that the last flight was already the fourth for Ingenuity in ten days. This is a new record for a drone. Despite the difficult wintering, the engineers managed not only to preserve, but also to increase the efficiency of Ingenuity, which made it possible to make a lot of new discoveries.

Earlier we talked about how scientists used Ingenuity data to study the movement of dust in the Martian atmosphere.

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