The Martian drone helicopter Ingenuity has completed another successful flight. This was announced in a statement published by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on their social media.
The #MarsHelicopter completed Flight 56, traveling 1,334 ft (410 m) across the Martian surface at a maximum altitude of ~39 ft (12 m). The goal of this flight was to reposition the helicopter.
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) August 31, 2023
Ingenuity’s latest flight took place on August 25th, marking its 56th flight over the Martian surface. Its main objective was to transport the drone to a new “aerodrome” and to conduct reconnaissance of the surrounding area for the Perseverance rover.
In total, the 56th flight of Ingenuity lasted for 141 seconds. During this time, the spacecraft covered a distance of 410 meters. The maximum altitude reached was 12 meters, and the maximum speed reached was 5.3 meters per second. Ingenuity also captured a series of images, one of which shows the shadow of the drone against the rocky Martian surface.
Ingenuity’s flights on Mars have surpassed its original mission plan. Initially designed for a 30-day mission with only five flights, Ingenuity has exceeded these expectations, continuing to operate on Mars for nearly two years.
Throughout its mission, Ingenuity has encountered various technical challenges. For instance, in July, it made an emergency landing due to data synchronization issues. However, despite these challenges, Ingenuity remains operational and continues to break its own records.
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