NASA's tiny Mars helicopter captures video of record-breaking 25th flight: Watch it here

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 28-05-2022 08:01 IST | Created: 28-05-2022 08:01 IST
NASA's tiny Mars helicopter captures video of record-breaking 25th flight: Watch it here
Representative image Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

The black-and-white navigation camera onboard NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has captured a video of the rotorcraft's record-breaking 25th flight which took place on April 8, 2022.

The April 8 flight was Ingenuity's longest and fastest flight to date, in which it covered 2,310 feet (704 meters) at a maximum speed of 12 mph (5.5 meters per second).

In this video shared by NASA, the helicopter first flies over a group of sand ripples and then, about halfway through the video, several rock fields. Finally, relatively flat and featureless terrain appears below, providing a good landing spot. The video of the 161.3-second flight was speeded up approximately five times, reducing it to less than 35 seconds, NASA said on Friday.

Video Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Commenting on this development, Ingenuity team lead Teddy Tzanetos of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said, "For our record-breaking flight, Ingenuity's downward-looking navigation camera provided us with a breathtaking sense of what it would feel like gliding 33 feet above the surface of Mars at 12 miles per hour."

Built and managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter landed on the planet's Jezero Crater on February 18, 2021, attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover. The helicopter was planned to complete no more than five flights, but it has completed 28 autonomous flights.

Earlier this month, the mission team lost communication with the tiny helicopter, following which it entered a low-power state. However, it has now re-established communications with the rover as well as mission controllers on the ground and the team is looking forward to its next flight on the Red Planet.

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