The US space agency, NASA’s tiny Ingenuity Mars helicopter has now made its third triumphant flight on Mars, the red planet. On Sunday, the small helicopter rose to a height of 5m before racing off sideways for 50m, which if compared is half the length of a football field.

Then the Ingenuity came back to its take-off place, for a complete flight time of 80 seconds. Sunday’s sortie was the most aggressive yet, but engineers commented that they intend to push the technology harder still. They want to determine the chopper’s limits, even if that involves crashing it in the procedure. The previous two flights were conducted on Monday and Thursday. Monday’s historic airing registered the first time powered, regulated flight by an aircraft had been executed on another world.

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Moreover, the Ingenuity was transported to Mars by Nasa’s Perseverance rover, which reached Jezero Crater in mid-February. The 1.8kg drone is considered as a technology presentation meant to establish the efficiency of flying movement in the planet’s refined environment.

In the near future, the choppers could be employed to patrol the way ahead for rovers and astronauts and further to investigate otherwise impossible to reach places, such as cliff faces. The officials of NASA have given the Ingenuity engineering team two more flights before Perseverance is ordered to get on with its initial mission of exploring for life in Jezero.

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In the past week of experimentation, the one-tonne robot has been operating as the chopper’s radio base location and the photographer of experience. Perseverance has been still capturing pictures and making short videos, all from a length of 65m from the drone’s “airfield”. In addition to it, Ingenuity has also been taking photos, whilst airborne. The pictures are black and white that look straight down to monitor passing rocks to assist with navigation. The drone further has a color camera that scans horizontally.

Source: The Verge

Image Source: NASA


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