Ingenuity Mars Helicopter performed its seventieth flight

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has announced a new successful Ingenuity flight. It has already become the 70th for a Martian helicopter.

Image of Mars taken by the Ingenuity helicopter during the 67th flight. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The new Ingenuity flight took place on December 22, 2023. It had a test character. Engineers were checking the condition of the spacecraft’s systems, which had been chained to the Martian surface for some time. This downtime was caused by the Mars conjunction that happened last November. The sun is located between the Earth and the Red Planet, making it difficult to communicate with the spacecraft exploring it.

Ingenuity’s 70th flight lasted 132 seconds. During this time, the helicopter flew 260 meters, eventually returning to its starting position. As for the other indicators, the maximum speed of Ingenuity was 3 m/s, height — 12 meters.

Recall that Ingenuity first took to the air in April 2021. The initial mission program was designed for five flights over 30 days. But in the end, Ingenuity significantly exceeded all expectations. As of today, its total flight time is 127 minutes. In total, the helicopter flew a distance of more than 17 km.

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