NASA’s Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, lately accomplished its seventh profitable flight on the faraway planet.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) introduced the information on Tuesday, June 8, although didn’t instantly say when the flight passed off.
“One other profitable flight,” JPL mentioned in a tweet, including, “Mars helicopter accomplished its seventh flight and second inside its operations demo part. It flew for 62.8 seconds and traveled ~106 meters south to a brand new touchdown spot. Ingenuity additionally took this black-and-white navigation photograph throughout flight.”
One other profitable flight 👏#MarsHelicopter accomplished its seventh flight and second inside its operations demo part. It flew for 62.8 seconds and traveled ~106 meters south to a brand new touchdown spot. Ingenuity additionally took this black-and-white navigation photograph throughout flight. pic.twitter.com/amluVq9wbb
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) June 8, 2021
Extra particulars concerning the particular nature of the flight will doubtless be revealed quickly. Nevertheless, the knowledge launched within the tweet confirms that Ingenuity’s newest flight wasn’t its longest when it comes to both time or distance. The helicopter’s sixth flight, on Could 22, for instance, lasted 140 seconds, whereas its fourth flight, on April 30, noticed the flying machine cowl a distance of 266 meters.
In response to a flight preview launched by JPL final week, Ingenuity may have landed in a unique spot from the place it took off, marking solely the second time for it to not return to its authentic launch location.
The group used knowledge captured by NASA’s HiRISE (Excessive Decision Imaging Science Experiment) satellite tv for pc digital camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to scan the touchdown space to make sure it was comparatively flat and freed from any probably troublesome obstacles.
The profitable flight comes a few weeks after Ingenuity skilled its most precarious journey up to now when a malfunction triggered the plane to wobble uncontrollably within the air. The group traced the error to a difficulty with Ingenuity’s movement and stability smarts.
JPL is but to verify that it has efficiently mounted the difficulty, although the truth that it makes no point out of any flight anomaly in its preliminary — albeit transient — report of Ingenuity’s seventh flight suggests the issue has been efficiently resolved.
Ingenuity made historical past in April when it grew to become the primary plane to make managed, powered flight on one other planet — no imply feat contemplating Mars’ ultrathin ambiance that makes flight tougher.
JPL is now testing Ingenuity with totally different flight eventualities whereas additionally utilizing its onboard digital camera to see how the plane, or a extra superior model of it, can help future missions to Mars and different planets.