The NASA Ingenuity helicopter continues to defy expectations and push the boundaries of flight beyond Earth. During its 59th flight on Mars, the 1.8-kilogram rotorcraft reached its highest altitude yet: 20 meters. The flight lasted 142.59 seconds and was a stationary flight, without any horizontal movement.

Ingenuity, which landed on Mars alongside the NASA Perseverance rover in February 2021, serves as an scout for the rover team. Its main mission was to demonstrate that aerial exploration on Mars is feasible despite the planet’s thin atmosphere. After successfully completing this proof of concept, Ingenuity has continued to fly, assisting Perseverance in finding optimal exploration routes and identifying interesting scientific targets.

Since its first flight, Ingenuity has completed a total of 59 flights, covering a distance of 13,304 meters and spending a total of 106.5 minutes in the air. Prior to flight 59, the helicopter’s altitude record was 18 meters. Its record for distance in a single flight is 704 meters, set in April 2022, and its duration record is 169.5 seconds, set in August 2021.

The Ingenuity helicopter has proven to be a valuable asset in the exploration of Mars, providing important data and paving the way for future aerial vehicles to assist in scientific research and potential human missions to the Red Planet.

– Ingenuity: A lightweight helicopter designed and operated by NASA for aerial exploration on Mars.
– Perseverance: The NASA rover that landed on Mars in February 2021, tasked with searching for signs of ancient life and collecting samples for eventual return to Earth.
– Proof of concept: A demonstration or experiment designed to verify the feasibility or potential success of a concept or idea.

– NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory