NASA’s Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, logged its thirty fourth profitable flight final week, staying within the air for 18 seconds and reaching a most altitude of 5 meters. The transient flight was the helicopter’s first with its newest software program replace, which is predicted so as to add capabilities together with hazard avoidance throughout touchdown and the usage of digital elevation maps to help with navigation. Additional flights to check Ingenuity’s upgraded capabilities are deliberate.
Ingenuity, a know-how demonstrator despatched to check powered, managed flight on Mars, was launched with the Perseverance rover in July 2020. The 1.8-kilogram helicopter’s mission was formally prolonged final March to incorporate supporting the rover because it explores the Jezero Crater. In keeping with NASA, Ingenuity was initially designed to fly over flat terrain, necessitating the software program replace because it begins to maneuver into rockier areas with fewer protected touchdown websites.
Since its first flight on April 19, 2021, Ingenuity has logged nearly 59 minutes within the air and travelled a complete distance of seven,392 meters (4.6 miles). Its highest flight to this point reached 12 meters above the floor and its longest lasted 169.5 seconds. As beforehand reported by AVweb, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Ingenuity Mars Helicopter crew was awarded the 2021 Collier trophy for undertaking “the primary powered, managed flight of an plane on one other planet, thereby opening the skies of Mars and different worlds for future scientific discovery and exploration.”