NASA’s Mars Helicopter Ingenuity Records Fastest And Longest Flight

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Ingenuity Records Fastest And Longest Flight

Ingenuity is the helicopter that NASA sent to Mars, Earth’s neighboring planet, to carry out studies about its surface. The third trip for Ingenuity which took place last week was a record-breaking success. During this expedition, Ingenuity was able to fly faster and further than all the previous ones.

After flying 16 feet upwards in the air, Ingenuity zipped 164 feet away. On Sunday morning, Ingenuity returned to its launch site. The helicopter flew at speed of 4.5 mph and the trip lasted for about 80 seconds. Out of all the trips, this is the fastest Ingenuity has ever traveled and the longest it has been on the air. Its previous trip could only last for 60 seconds and only reached a speed of 1.1 mph.

As claimed by a statement by NASA, after Sunday’s results, the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California felt ‘ecstatic’. This milestone was indeed a victory for the Ingenuity team. The team had to face a quite distinctive challenge, which is controlling an unmanned chopper on Mars. The team had to control this from over 184 miles away, with the use of a very little number of signals sent in advance.

NASA's Mars Helicopter
Source – NASA/JPL-CALTECH

Ingenuity’s Third Expedition Gathers Lots Of New Information

NASA states that the short flight on Sunday has bought in lots of valuable information. This information will not only help scientists prepare for future Ingenuity flights but even trips for future Mars rotorcraft.

Ingenuity yanked an intergalactic ride on the Perseverance rover. Following this, it landed on Mars in February. In July, both were launched out of Florida. Researchers at NASA utilize cameras on board to look for signs of life on Mars. They also gather samples of rocks and sediment. In the present, NASA does not plan to bring Ingenuity and Perseverance back to Earth.

NASA's Mars Helicopter
Source – NASA/JPL-CALTECH

According to scientists at NASA, the samples collected by Perseverance will be bought back to Earth in future expeditions. The fourth flight of Ingenuity is scheduled to take place within the next few days.

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