NASA’s Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, has achieved a new flight record on the red planet. During its 59th flight, Ingenuity reached an altitude of 20 meters, surpassing its previous record by 6 meters. The latest achievement of Ingenuity was announced by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which oversees the mission that also involves the Perseverance rover. The flight was mainly focused on pushing Ingenuity to reach a new height record, as it landed in the same spot it took off from.
Since its first flight in April 2021, Ingenuity has made significant progress. During its initial flight, it soared 3 meters above the Martian surface for 39.1 seconds, demonstrating its capability to perform powered flights despite the thin atmosphere of Mars. Subsequent flights have seen Ingenuity stay in the air for a maximum of 169.5 seconds, cover distances of up to 709 meters, and achieve speeds of up to 15 mph (6.5 meters per second).
Ingenuity’s performance has exceeded expectations, as the helicopter has aided the Perseverance rover by capturing aerial images for route planning in the Jezero Crater. Additionally, Ingenuity has shown its resilience by recovering from various technical issues along the way.
NASA plans to utilize the knowledge gained from Ingenuity to develop more advanced versions of the helicopter for future missions on Mars and even missions beyond the red planet.
– NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)